Friday, September 19, 2008


The Citizendium Project is gearing up for Biology Week and has released this press release.

Wiki Encyclopedia Invites Biologists to a Weeklong Open House

International Cyberspace - September 19 - Biology Week, an online "open
house" for biologists, biology students, and anyone else interested, begins
September 22 on Citizendium (, the
next-generation wiki encyclopedia started by Wikipedia co-founder Larry

During the week, biologists and anyone interested in the topic are invited
test out the Citizendium system. Editors and authors from the project's
Biology Workgroup will be on hand to meet and greet new people on the wiki.

Biology is one of the more active areas in the Citizendium, with nearly
1,000 articles in progress. Unlike the Encyclopedia of Life, the project is
a wiki and benefits from strong collaboration; for an example of the success
of the system, biologists might want to see the article "Life"

Dr. Gareth Leng, Professor of Experimental Physiology at the University of
Edinburgh, and Citizendium author and editor, described the project: "Our
role will not be to tell readers what opinions they should hold, but to give
them the means to decide, rationally, for themselves. The role of experts is
critical-not to impose opinions, but to support accuracy in reporting and
citing information."

The Citizendium, or "citizens' compendium," uses the same software as
Wikipedia. It is a successful public-expert hybrid project to produce a
general reference resource. The community encourages general public
participation, but makes a low-key, guiding role for experts. It also
requires real names and asks contributors to sign a "social contract."

As a result, the project is vandalism-free and, despite its youth (its
public launch was just 18 months ago), has steadily added over 8,000
articles, many of them of fine quality.


Citizendium website:
Biology Week homepage:
"Life" (sample article):


  1. I would like to publicly thank John (and Citizendium) for saving some of the phage entries from wikipedia. The non-scientists who troll wikipedia with deletion privileges removed some of the phage evolution/ecology pages because they were "too detailed" and John rescued them for Citizendium. Thanks, John!

  2. Dear Dr. Dennehy

    I am a recent reader of your blog and thoroughly enjoy it. I have also started to hit your blog for ideas on teaching particular topics ~ especially all the posts about Hamilton and his work. I was wondering if you would consider adding a search box on your blog, so that readers don't have to rely solely on google to pull up your posts?


  3. Thanks Siobain!

    Bala, you can search the blog by using the search box at the top of the page!

  4. duh! one could so get used to not seeing the search box on top of the page. Thanks for pointing that out :)