The EO Wilson-founded Encyclopedia of Life is sponsoring a conference on biodiversity informatics — the application of DNA barcoding, IT, and other forms of technology to the issues of biodiversity and taxonomy. E-Biosphere 09 brings together all of the major players involved in barcoding — this will be a great event for understanding the state of the science if nothing else.
Happily, the organizers have created fora for online engagement with the conference — self-organized groups are being asked to produce papers that may end up in the conference proceedings on such topics as:
* A current landscape and future roadmap for Biodiversity Informatics
* Standards development and management
* Global Names Architecture
* Basic biodiversity science research
* Training in biodiversity informatics
* Developing world
* Sustainable economic development
* Ecology and ecosystems, environmental sustainability, climate change
* Conservation and land use
* Public Health
* Uses in public, K-12 and higher education
* Citizen science
This is a great start, but one thing that immediately struck me as missing was the role of business. If EOL and its peers envision developing and sharing taxonomic information on every species in the world, they need to start thinking now about commercial models that will support and facilitate this development. What will be the role of the DNA-taxonomy-driven Red Hats?