August 16, 2008

Yahoo! reported yesterday about the discovery of a new species of robin, the olive-backed forest robin. The article gives more detail, but its important to note that it was an accidental discovery. What a marvel it is to live in a world where we know about 10% of the species on the planet! But that’s not all.

James Burke, a scientist popularizer, has been working on, and now producing, a unique form of collective research called The Knowledge Web. People from all fields come together to draw connections between discovery and history, politics and science, basically all human knowledge. The result would be a database of concept webs that might help explain so many things about the world, possibly the universe.

That said, what sort of discoveries could be made in the process? What sort of knowledge is known in some parts, but not in others? How much more could a project like this help researchers and ordinary people alike find holes in our knowledge of things where a new little something might be found? It’s exciting to even think about.


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