Friday, December 12, 2014

Launch of the @Smithsonian 's Institute for Biodiversity Genomics

Pierre Comizzoli with opening remarks
I attended the launch of the Smithsonian's new Institute for Biodiversity Genomics (along with Gil Taylor, Julia Blase, and Kristen Bullard from Smithsonian Libraries).

The launch started with opening remarks from Pierre Comizzoli (Acting Director, Grand Challenges Consortium for Science).

That was followed by a fascinating talk by Erich Jarvis (Duke University), lead author on an important new article in Science on "Shaking Up the Bird Family Tree". 

John Kress (Interim Under Secretary for Science) have an introduction to the Smithsonian's work in genomics and talked about what the new institute would do (work with the Smithsonian's matchless collection of specimens and research scientists, collaborate with partners worldwide, and use the Smithsonian's convening power to bring together important thinkers in this area.

The launch concluded with a talk by Jonathan Coddington (Director, The Global Genome Initiative) on the importance of genomics in biodiversity. Nice to see the Biodiversity Heritage Library listed as a key data point in biodiversity data projects.

John Kress

Jonathan Coddington

Erich Jarvis 

Avian biodiversity

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