From TED curator Chris Anderson:
In Washington DC this morning, the first big step in that dream came true. Five major scientific institutions, backed by a $50m funding commitment led by the MacArthur Foundation, announced the launch of a global effort to launch the Encyclopedia. Ed Wilson described today's announcement as a dream come true.This reminds me a lot of Kevin Kelly's All Species Foundation, which ran out of funding around 2003. It was a TED-borne idea. Link
Please take two minutes (and it is literally two minutes) [It's four minutes, but well worth watching -- Mark] right now to watch this video. It does a spectacular job of explaining the purpose and vision behind the Encylopedia.