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World's leading scientists announce creation of 'Encyclopedia of Life'

ing the scanning of key research publications and data, have been underway since January 2006, work has accelerated due to the support provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the recent discussion of the Encyclopedia of Life by renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson at the March 2007 Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference.

One of the world’s foremost scientists and environmentalists, Wilson, professor emeritus at Harvard University, "wished" for the establishment of the Encyclopedia of Life during his TED Conference address. Noting that "our knowledge of biodiversity is so incomplete that we are at risk of losing a great deal of it before it is ever discovered," Wilson called for a contemporary, dynamic portrait of the living Earth.

"I wish that we will work together to help create the key tool that we need to inspire preservation of Earth’s biodiversity: the Encyclopedia of Life," Wilson said at TED. "What excites me is that since I first put forward this idea, science has advanced, technology has moved forward. Today, the practicalities of making this encyclopedia real are within reach as never before."

Ultimately, the Encyclopedia of Life will provide users the opportunity to personalize the learning experience through its "my eol" feature. The site can be made available in all major languages and will connect scientific communities concerned with ants to apples to zebras. As part of its work, the Encyclopedia of Life will collaborate and partner with a wide range of organizations, individuals, and experts to help strengthen the Encyclopedia and its impact on communities throughout the world.

"The solidarity of the U.S. and global communities for the Encyclopedia of Life is tremendously exciting and lifts my confidence that this vast, romantic global effort will succeed," Edwards said. "We are also encouraged by the declaration in March 2007 by the environment ministers of the G8 na
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Source:terrycollins@rogers.com


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