PNNL and eResearch: Semantic Physical Science

[the purpose of this mail is to work out my thoughts, test that I can blog from PNNL, let people know I am still alive, and tell the world what I am doing and will do.]

I’m spending 9 days here at PNNL (in Richland, WA, US) with little to distract me so I have a real chance to get my ideas in order about semantic physical science. There’s a natural progression:

  • Create V0.9 of a high-quality computational chemistry dictionary (or ontology if you like the word). It’s expressed as XML (Chemical Markup Language) but it’s also isomorphic with simple RDF triples. We’ve done the first pass (have a V0.1) and I’m working with the group here to create the next versions
  • Then travel to eResearch at Melbourne where I’m collaborating with Nico Adams, one of my colleagues in Cambridge, who has moved to CSIRO, Clayton. Nico not only buys into the idea of semantic science, he’s pushed it much further than I could have. With Alex Wade we are running a one day workshop in eResearch ( , “Making the Semantic Web work for Physical Science”. I’m getting my ideas together now, and there will be a concentration on things like chemistry, quantities and units of measurement. If you know what the boiling point of water is, then you will be qualified for the workshop.
  • Later in Feb I will be spending some months with Nico. CSIRO is a great place to really develop an infrastructure. National labs (like PNNL, CSIRO and STFC – a international ones like EBI, NCBI) understand the need for proper data management, infrastructure and information engineering. Academia generally doesn’t, and when it does it doesn’t value it.

More later as I get the order worked out.

[Immediate update. I can blog from PNNL Visitor LAN!]

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One Response to PNNL and eResearch: Semantic Physical Science

  1. Mat Todd says:

    PNNL was a nice place to do some work. If you’re coming to Sydney, let’s get some people together.

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