CFP: Entomological informatics symposium at XXI ICE Brasil

Hannu Saarenmaa hannu.saarenmaa at SWIPNET.SE
Wed Feb 9 06:21:37 CST 2000

Dear Colleague

This is an invitation to a one-day Symposium to be held under the 21th
International Congress of Entomology at Iguassu Falls, Brasil, during
the week of 20-26 August 2000. The title of the symposium is "Towards a
global biological information infrastucture: challenges, opportunies,
synergies, and the role of entomology".  We wish to invite your
contribution to the Symposium.

The Challenge

It is Y2K. The world is going towards Information Society. Biological
and biodiversity informatics are becoming incresingly important. For
entomologists this time is particularly challenging because of the
wealth of data that we potentially may generate. This oppportunity
allows entomologists to make a major contribution to the conservation of
biodiversity.  The combination of new technologies with systematics and
collections based research may offer an opportunity to strengthen such
activities in the future. This is a truly unique point in time.

This all calls for a new approach. Biodiversity informatics and taxonomy
are emerging as an information sciences. We believe that if we are able
to create a useful information infrastructure for entomology, it should
directly address the burning questions of the time. It would increase
the credibility taxonomic community in the eyes of funding
organisations, and have a positive snowball effect over a wide range of
activities. There are many emerging opportunities such as CHM and GBIF.

This symposium is called upon to make an inventory of the ongoing
activities, which are many, and possibly to lay down some foundation for
further cooperation among the various projects. If you look at the list
of the invited speakers (below) and their projects, it all looks very
exiting. Yet there might be a bigger picture missing. Is there
interoperability between the systems? If we compare entomological
information management with other areas, such as plant information, it
is easy to realise that we still have some way to go.

The Presentations

The speakers listed below have already tentatively accepted our earlier
invitation.  We now would like to extend the call for voluntary
presentations.  If the subject of this symposium appeals to you, do the

- Download the 2nd call for papers
- Write your abstract as instructed in the annoucement
- Submit your abstract by 28 February, indicating that it belong
  to our 5th Symposium under the 5th Session "Computer science
  applied to entomology".
- Send the both of us a copy of your submission.

The abstracts will be printed, but we also suggest making a proceedings
volume, in a journal refereed by us, where you are invited to write an
article of 5-15 pages of your project and visions. Naturally, the papers
and the presention slides will be posted on the web. 

The ICE website where you will find more information about the
arrangements is

The papers will be expected by 1 June 2000, and will be posted to
website already before the workshop so that we will have a lively panel
where everyone is aware of the views of others. After the workshop, you
will have one more month to finalise your paper.

We also expect any of the speakers to be available for the panel at the
end of the Symposium. The panel will be invited after the papers have
been received. We also believe that the workshop will result in a
follow-up project and further research opportunities, which will be
discussed during the Congress.

Hoping to hear from you soon,

Ebbe Nielsen                   Hannu Saarenmaa
CSIRO Entomology               European Environment Agency
Canberra                       Copenhagen
ebbe.nielsen at     hannu.saarenmaa at


The Symposium

"Towards a global biological information infrastucture: challenges,
opportunies, synergies, and the role of entomology"

Provisonal Agenda (version 0.6), with firmly or tentatively confirmed

1 Why there are so many undescribed insect species, and what does it
have to do with information management? -- (Keynote being sought: the
speaker here does not have to focus much in IT, but just to have
perspective and dramatically frame the question)

2 Overview of technological challenges and opportunities for managing
entomological information -- Hannu Saarenmaa 

3 Progress towards the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
-- Ebbe Nielsen

4 Progress in the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) -- Beatriz Torres and
Marc Auer

5 Entomology in Costa Rican InBio -- Angel SolĂ­s

6 Entomological informatics in Mexico: CONABIO -- Jorge Soberon

7 The Tree of Life initiative -- David R. Maddison

8 The BioSystematic Database of World Diptera: the first global master
species Database -- F. Christian Thompson

9 Beetles of the World -- John Lawrence
10 Geometrid Moths of the World -- Malcolm Scoble

11 Species Analyst -- Dave Vieglais

12 Interactive identification using the Internet -- Mike Dallwitz

13 Panel Discussion on challenges, opportunites, synergies, roles


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