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

Eric Zurcher Eric.Zurcher at PI.CSIRO.AU
Tue Jul 24 12:45:03 CEST 2001

>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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