The Encyclopedia of Life

September 6, 2007 – The New York Times published an interesting editorial today about an ambitious new project announced earlier this year, in which the Smithsonian is taking a leading role.  The goal of the Encyclopedia of Life is nothing short of organizing all basic information on the 1.8 million known species on the planet within 10 years, and making all of this information accessible to everyone on the web.  Scientists predict this project should deliver immediately practical benefits for agriculture, medicine and other uses, “while disease-causing bacteria and viruses may be discovered and controlled before they can cause widespread harm.”

Bravo to our colleagues who are making this important initiative happen!!

Office of exhibits central old logo


Check out one of the Smithsonian’s newest blogs, from the Office of Exhibits Central (OEC).  OEC is a dynamic unit that produces exhibits and exhibition services for Smithsonian museums, SITES, and others, like the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, our affiliate in Arizona.
rotunda_elephant_sm_feather.jpg (a well-known example of OEC’s work on the Mall)

The blog is a fun glimpse into the workings of OEC.  You’ll see examples of their cool technology (like a skull being made on their CNC machine), projects they’re working on (like SITES’ Jim Henson’s Fantastic World) and exhibitions in development (such as Natural History’s Going to Sea, which will coincide with the opening of their new Ocean Hall.)

The best part is experiencing the process from their perspective – all the behind-the-scenes challenges and creative solutions that our colleagues confront on a daily basis (which no doubt are the same issues that Affiliate staffs deal with as well.)  It’s a good reminder to consider all that goes into the wonderful exhibits we enjoy in our museums every day… imagine if the public knew!?!