When the American sociobiologist E. O. Wilson was awarded the TED Prize in 2007, he was given the opportunity to make a wish. His wish was that someone would fund and create a freely accessible online database of every known species, to give scientists "the tools that we need to inspire preservation of Earth's biodiversity".
Within two months, Wilson's vision of a digital Noah's Ark won financial backing to the tune of $12.5 million from the MacArthur Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and today the Encyclopedia of Life is a reality. Text, images and videos can be uploaded by anyone who's interested, and content is vetted by expert curators.
The inventory has grown more quickly than anyone expected. To date, there are pages for more than 150,000 species, with contributions from 250 specialists and 1,200 "citizen scientists". ...
By 2017, the site aims to have collated information on all 1.8 million recorded species. To help the project push on towards this goal, the founding sponsors today announced a further $12.5 million in funding. ...
Gavin Baker at 8/24/2009 08:47:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.