One of the most gigantic free online education projects in years is the “Encyclopedia of Life,” an effort to post information about almost 2 million different species by many of the world’s top scientists.
It hasn’t been cheap to produce. The venerable Sloan and Mac Arthur Foundations have kicked in $12.5 million dollars – and that only pays for the first two and a half years of the site’s build-out.
The “Encyclopedia of Life” is both scientist- and student-friendly. Amateurs, dubbed “citizen scientists” by the project’s directors, contribute everything from observations to maps and videos to the site, which looks to be a kind of Wikipedia of all world biology facts. The main difference is that the final product is edited by professional scientists for accuracy – something that Wikipedia has been sorely lacking in. Have a look at the Encyclopedia of Life here
Project director James Edwards calls the new site an “interactive zoo.”