This is the fourteenth in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. David Patterson is a new candidate seeking election to the CODATA Executive Committee. He is nominated by the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS).
IUBS is delighted to have the opportunity to seek representation of the International Union of Biological Sciences on the CODATA Executive Committee. The new IUBS agenda is to promote ‘Unified Biology’, and we expect that biodiversity informatics will play a key role in achieving this goal. The development of infrastructure requires stable long-term funding, and community wide participation to provide the community as a whole with free, open, and relevant services. A close association with the CODATA through David Patterson’s participation in the Executive Committee will allow IUBS to call upon the expertise within CODATA to help guide the emergence of a unifying infrastructure for digital information, to strengthen the interactions within the bio cluster of ICSU, and help promote the biodiversity sciences within CODATA.
Taxonomy is the traditional discipline within biology that catalogues our understanding of the diversity of life, and forms the framework around which we organize much of our thinking about different types of organisms. One of David’s aims is to embed taxonomic logic and content in an open and free infrastructure that will be able to index distributed content about species in heterogeneous data environments and to organize that information as a first step to its analysis. He led the implementation team for the Encyclopedia of Life, a large scale project that successfully demonstrated how taxonomic expertise can be called upon to create an organizational framework for digital information on all forms of life.
He has been a member of the International Committee on Bionomenclature, is currently a member of the executive of IUBS, and a commissioner for the International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature. His academic career includes institutions in England, Australia and the US, and he has been involved in research projects relating to taxonomy, evolution, ecology and informatics in those countries and as part of the European funding. He was tightly associated with the drafting and release of the Bouchout Declaration (bouchoutdeclaration.org) which provides an opportunity for individuals and institutions in the biodiversity sciences to declare their support for open and free access to biodiversity information. He is currently active in the Research Data Alliance, and the development of the Biodiversity Data Interest Group.