Announcement of the I3C (but where are the taxonomists?)

Vincent, Leszek Leszek at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri Jul 27 14:49:40 CEST 2001

Dear TDWG folk

The note below caught my interest in that I'm a taxonomist/plant systematist
by vocation and am currently working in the area of ontology and controlled
vocabulary development for monocots & dicots (this is an extension of the
Gene Ontology paradigm - see: Lest you're feeling
hopeless about the lack of taxonomists represented in this area of endeavor
(which overlaps I think with the I3C - I need to study it's mandate
further), there is my voice along with those of several other biological
ontologists who are collaborating with me. The relevance & inputs from
taxonomy/systematics are already being realised amongst some of my
colleagues - so there's hope. I'd argue that at least one taxonomist has
already got his 'sleeves rolled up' (IMHO) & is working with other
colleagues with similar goals (as being focused on by the I3C group). We're
hoping to form the Plant Ontology Consortium to extend our tools, paradigm &
'influence', for the benefit of the users of plant-based databases.

- Leszek Vincent
P. Leszek D. Vincent Ph.D., FLS
Plant Science Unit, Dept. of Agronomy, 209 Curtis Hall,
University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211-7020, USA. Ph: (573)
884-3716 (Agronomy), Fax:(573) 884-7850;
Ph/Fax (Home): (573) 441-1228;
Email: Leszek at
Plant Systematist on the Maize Mapping Project - NSF award 9872655 -
( and

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric Zurcher [mailto:Eric.Zurcher at PI.CSIRO.AU]
> Sent: Monday, July 23, 2001 9:45 PM
> Subject: Announcement of the I3C (but where are the taxonomists?)
> >This newsgroup might not be quite the correct forum for the
> following, but
> >as there has been no activity of late, I hope I will be forgiven.
> At the end of June, the formation of the Interoperable Informatics
> Infrastructure Consortium (I3C for short) was announced. So
> what is it? The
> I3C's own material states "The I3C's mission is to facilitate
> and enable
> data exchange, data management, and knowledge management
> across the entire
> life science community by promoting common protocols that ensures
> interoperability in an open, consistent and robust manner."
> The "common
> protocols" are largely XML based. See
> for details.
> Unfortunately, the "entire life science community" does not,
> at least at
> this stage, appear to include taxonomists. The emphasis is strongly on
> genomics, with a substantial side interest in drug discovery.
> Nevertheless,
> this effort might be worth watching. It includes a number of
> heavyweights
> from the IT industry (IBM, Sun, Oracle), along with major players in
> pharmaceuticals and genomics, so there're a lot of resources
> to draw from.
> Whether their efforts might someday extend to include
> taxonomy, and whether
> taxonomists can learn from this initiative, remains to be
> seen. But that
> mission statement does sound remarkably like that of TDWG...
> Eric Zurcher
> CSIRO Livestock Industries
> Canberra, ACT Australia
> E-mail: Eric.Zurcher at

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