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For Immediate Release: March 24, 2008
Contact: Gina Hebert, 508-289-7725, ghebert@mbl.edu

Public Invited to Discover the Encyclopedia of Life at MBL Associates Coffee and Conversation, April 13

EOL logo

David Patterson
David Patterson
Photo credit: B. Leigh Dicks

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—The MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) Associates in partnership with the West Falmouth Library invite the public to explore the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) with MBL senior scientist Dr. David Patterson at a Coffee and Conversation on Sunday, April 13 at 4:00 PM at the West Falmouth Library, 575 West Falmouth Highway.

Launched in 2007, the EOL is a monumental, unprecedented effort to create a Web page for all 1.8 million named species of animals, plants, and other forms of life on Earth. Intended as a tool for scientists and policymakers and a fascinating resource for anyone interested in the living world, the EOL is being developed by a unique collaboration between scientists and the general public.

The MBL is playing a major role in developing the EOL and is part of a consortium that includes Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum of Chicago, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and Missouri Botanical Garden.

Dr. Patterson leads the MBL-based EOL Biodiversity Informatics Group, which developed the software for the EOL Web portal. In February 2008, the first 30,000 species pages of the EOL went live to the acclaim of scientists and educators worldwide. EOL species pages are created from an aggregation of text, images, video, scientific data, and other information drawn from many different sources, and all vetted by scientific experts. The ultimate design and functionality of all 1.8 million pages is scheduled for completion by 2017.

Dr. Patterson received his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, UK in 1976 and his D.Sc. from Queens University, Belfast Northern Ireland, in 1990. He was Head of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney before moving in 2004 to the MBL. Dr. Patterson is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney and is also a Professor in the Brown-MBL Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences.

For more information about this event, contact the MBL Associates Office, 508-289-7281
or sjoslin@mbl.edu.


Founded in 1888, the MBL is an international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu

Since 1944, the MBL Associates has promoted the scientific mission of the MBL. The group supports the Annual Fund, provides a formal connection for anyone interested in learning about the institution, and sponsors gifted students and promising young investigators. Members also raise funds for special projects and organize educational and cultural programs for the MBL and the community. In addition, they operate the MBL Associates Gift Shop, located on Water Street in Woods Hole, the profits from which support scientific fellowships.