Pure Science

Aves - A Taxonomy in Flux

"There are big changes underway in bird taxonomy. You've probably noticed that the checklist is always changing. Suddenly the ducks have replaced the loons in front of the NGS guide. Not too long ago the shrikes and vireos were next to the warblers, now they're next to the jays. Maybe you've heard that vultures are storks, or that they're not really storks after all, or that North American tanagers are now cardinals, or that saltators are tanagers, not cardinals. Then there are the Baltimore and Bullock's Orioles, or are they just Northern Orioles?

Human Phenotype Ontology

"The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) aims to provide a standardized vocabulary of phenotypic abnormalities encountered in human disease. Each term in the HPO describes a phenotypic abnormality, such as atrial septal defect. The HPO is currently being developed using the medical literature, Orphanet, DECIPHER, and OMIM. HPO currently contains approximately 11,000 terms and over 115,000 annotations to hereditary diseases. The HPO also provides a large set of HPO annotations to approximately 4000 common diseases.

Catalogue of Life

"The Catalogue of Life (CoL) is the nearest thing to a comprehensive catalogue of all known species of organisms on Earth. Continuous progress is made towards completion, and this edition contains 1,639,016 living and 5,763 extinct species. Please note that this is probably just over three quarters of the world's known species. This means that for many groups it continues to be deficient, and users will notice that many species are still missing from the Catalogue.

Emporio Celestial de Conocimientos Benévolos

"El Emporio celestial de conocimientos benévolos es una cierta enciclopedia china ficcionada por el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges en el ensayo El idioma analítico de John Wilkins. (...) Dice Borges en dicho relato: '(...) notoriamente no hay clasificación del universo que no sea arbitraria y conjetural. La razón es muy simple: no sabemos qué cosa es el universo'. (...) Esta lista, cuyo 'descubrimiento' Borges atribuye a Franz Kuhn, ha originado una multiplicidad de comentarios filosóficos y literarios, como el inicio del prefacio de Las palabras y las cosas, de Michel Foucault.

"The celestial Emporium of benevolent knowledge is a certain Chinese encyclopedia fiction by the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges in the essay The analytical idiom of John Wilkins ...


"PhySH (Physics Subject Headings) is a physics classification scheme developed by the American Physical Society to organize journals, meetings, and other content by topic. The development of PhySH is motivated by the lack of a fully open, high quality classification scheme for physics. It is intended initially to meet the specific goals of the APS for our journal, meeting, and other content. A longer term goal is to make it available for use by the broader community.

Unified Code for Units of Measure

"The Unified Code for Units of Measure is a code system intended to include all units of measures being contemporarily used in international science, engineering, and business. The purpose is to facilitate unambiguous electronic communication of quantities together with their units. The focus is on electronic communication, as opposed to communication between humans. A typical application of The Unified Code for Units of Measure are electronic data interchange (EDI) protocols, but there is nothing that prevents it from being used in other types of machine communication.