(RQT) 250 000 species in my hand

Jean-Marc Vanel jmvanel at FREE.FR
Sun Nov 28 11:05:09 CET 1999

In a CD of course. And not in 5 years...

There is a strong necessity to have an exhaustive coverage of species.
A telephone directory with only 1/100 of the persons is useless.

Science is not only a matter of doing publications to advance careers.
It has social implications. If an information of high quality is
available on the Net, it will greatly advance the cause of nature
conservation. It will also advance the cause of descriptive biology and
field biology, and help to raise funds (which go to molecular biology
mainly). The paradox is that there is a growing sympathy in the general
public for ecology, nature conservation, biodiversity, etc. But at the
same time there is growing ignorance in Natural History. However there
is a hunger to learn and understand that isn't satisfied by books. But
the answers aren't at hand. With current floras and descriptions
properly computerized, with the web, and some logic programming and
image pattern recognition, we can remedy that.

It seems that descriptive biology needs help from computer scientists,
not only database and knowledge management, but also image processing
(see other posts about "Types of data").

More on those matters at http://jmvanel.free.fr/ .


Jean-Marc Vanel

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