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So much for open government: National Biological Information Infrastructure program to get axe

National Biological Information Infratructure home page

Nation­al Bio­log­i­cal Infor­ma­tion Infratruc­ture home page

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. — My apolo­gies to those who have already seen my Face­book pages and list­serv posts about this.  I just learned from David Inouye, mod­er­a­tor of the ECOLOG-L list, that the Nation­al Bio­log­i­cal Infor­ma­tion Infra­struc­ture pro­gram will be ter­mi­nat­ed in Jan­u­ary.

Accord­ing to the NBII Web site:

In the 2012 President’s Bud­get Request, the Nation­al Bio­log­i­cal Infor­ma­tion Infra­struc­ture (NBII) is ter­mi­nat­ed. As a result, all resources, data­bas­es, tools, and appli­ca­tions with­in this web site will be removed on Jan­u­ary 15, 2012. For more infor­ma­tion, please refer to the NBII Pro­gram Ter­mi­na­tion page.

This seems an affront to the prin­ci­ple of open gov­ern­ment — cer­tain­ly a retreat from past progress in that area — and may affect the abil­i­ty of some of you to get infor­ma­tion you need in your report­ing. I doubt the pro­gram­mat­ic sav­ings is worth the loss of sci­en­tist, activist, jour­nal­ist, and pub­lic access to the infor­ma­tion con­tained.

In the next few days and weeks, I will find out more about how the clo­sure will affect the research, con­ser­va­tion, and jour­nal­ist com­mu­ni­ties and post updates here.

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