A press release from today….I hope to say more after the week at ACS New Orleans….
Last year, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Antony Williams was given the Microsoft Jim Gray eScience Award, recognising his pioneering contribution to ChemSpider, the free chemical structure database.
Now, Tony has chosen to pass on the $20,000 prize money to recognise eight colleagues who have made contributions to eScience through their own research.
Tony explains that, as the first non-academic to win the award, where traditionally the monetary prize has gone to the winner’s institution to invest in research, as he works in the publishing wing of his organisation, this needed a different approach.
Tony says: “I wanted to reward and recognise the efforts of the many people I’ve worked with and whose data, systems and services I have used over the years – every one of them has contributed in some ways to my own work in this area.
“In science you commonly stand on the shoulders of the giants that come before you. In eScience it is very possible to benefit from the efforts of others and implement, and I am fortunate to be able to take advantage of the brilliance of others.
“This is my giveaway in recognition of what they do and my thank you to them.”
One of Tony’s choices is Jean-Claude Bradley, Associate Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, who has pioneered work on Open Notebook Science. Tony Williams is deeply impressed with Jean-Claude’s approach, saying “I believe we will look back at what he’s doing as being hugely important – he really has his finger on the pulse of the future”.
Jean Claude feels equally strongly that a more open approach to science is vital for the acceleration of science and chemical projects. When asked about the importance of receiving the extra financial support, he said: “It’s fantastic, I’m very honoured by the award and certainly we don’t have any government funding for this so it’s very encouraging.
“Crowd funding and these kinds of initiatives, I think there are situations where it really works, so it definitely means a lot.
“ChemSpider itself has been key in the technical components of our work because we use ChemSpider IDs as our primary key for the molecules that we track and it has a lot of useful web services you can use, so working with Tony and the tools available from ChemSpider has been fantastic”.
Another recipient is Professor Martin Walker who, as well as teaching organic chemistry at the State University of New York at Potsdam has worked on improving the chemical compound pages on Wikipedia Chemistry. That work is “incredibly important”, according to Tony Williams. He adds: “Martin came in to work with the RSC for a year, so he’s someone I know and respect hugely. I also worked with him at Wikipedia Chemistry and he’s co-ordinated some incredibly important work”.
In turn, Martin Walker says “I admire Tony Williams immensely, and his award was certainly well deserved. I feel very honoured that he has chosen to recognise my work in this way.”
The award winners are recognised for their contributions as described in Tony’s own words below:
1) JC Bradley –Open Notebook Science: He coined the term Open Notebook Science and has set the vision for its applications to chemistry. http://www.drexel.edu/chemistry/contact/facultyDirectory/Jean-Claude%20Bradley/
2) Martin Walker – Wikipedia Chemistry. Leads and coordinates many efforts around Chemistry on Wikipedia contributing a significant number of the chemistry articles: http://www2.potsdam.edu/walkerma/
3) Bob Hanson – Jmol: Leads development of the Jmol applet, one of the most useful tools for chemistry on the web: http://www.stolaf.edu/people/hansonr/
4) Robert Lancashire – JSpecView: Project lead for the JSpecView Applet, an enabling component to allow for display of spectra data on the web: http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm/chrl.html
5) Egon Willighagen – Open Source Chemistry: A contributor to the world of Open Code for Chemistry, especially to the Chemistry Development Kit and semantics for chemistry.: http://egonw.github.com/
6) Igor Pletnev – InChI: the InChI software manager and sole developer of all enhancements to the original InChI software code: http://analyt.chem.msu.ru/eng/preconcentration/pletnev/default.htm
7) Daniel Lowe – Nomenclature conversion and Open Reactions. Daniel managed the development of the OPSIN name-to-structure conversion software for 3 years and has contributed hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions to the world of Open Data. http://www-ucc.ch.cam.ac.uk/members/dl387
8) Peter Corbett – Text-mining: Peter developed the OSCAR3 open source package for chemistry text mining and also was the original developer of OPSIN. http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=RSDcspMAAAAJ&hl=en
Press release online
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Royal Society of Chemistry,
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