E. O. Wilson's Encyclopedia of Life gets over $50M in funding

At TED a couple of months ago, sociobiologist E.O. Wilson was presented with a TED Prize (along with war photographer James Nachtwey and Bill Clinton). During his acceptance speech, he was given the opportunity to articulate a "wish" for something. Wilson wished for funding to launch and sustain a project called "The Encyclopedia of Life." (See video here.) Today his wish came true.

From TED curator Chris Anderson:

200705091034In 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.

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.

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