THE LIFE SCIENCES AND THE INFORMATION REVOLUTION
Office of Science and Technology, Albany House, 84-86 Petty France, London SW1H 9ST, UK
In some areas of biology (for example, gene sequencing), new information is accruing at a rate so fast as to threaten our ability to digest it. In other areas (for example, synoptic catalogues of named and recorded species), our need for quick access to existing knowledge, and for rapid additions to it, is hampered by traditions that have perhaps been too slow to embrace new information technologies. The presentation will air personal views about these matters, arguing strongly that the road ahead should see biologists making better use of information technology both to organize information and - even more important - to help them decode the evolutionary and ecological messages within such information.