All hail another all-encompassing database

by Jeremy Cherfas on November 29, 2012

NERC, which is the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council has a Knowledge Exchange Programme on Sustainable Food Production, which

aims to enhance the use of science in making UK food production systems more environmentally sustainable. Sustainable food production makes efficient use of natural resources and does not degrade the environmental systems that underpin it.

Great. NERC is summarising scientific research about how to make food production more sustainable. Naturally we went straight there and plugged “biodiversity” into the search engine. Up came the result. Yup, just the one. How to rear bumblebees in captivity. To be fair, the advice is based on 22 trials from 13 countries, and is pretty comprehensive. And bumblebees are important. It’s just that, to be honest, I expected more.

While we’re on the subject of all-encompassing databases, SINGER is no longer. Go there, and you’ll see this message:

Bioversity is pleased to inform the users of the SINGER web site, that starting today, it will no longer exist and this page will automatically lead you to the new Plant Genetic Resource Gateway: GENESYS that currently compiles the data from SINGER, EURISCO and GRIN.

“Pleased”? Really?

We’ve been asked “to fix any links to SINGER in any web sites you are managing, preferrably replacing the SINGER logo with the GENESYS logo, and a direct link to GENESYS”. But you know what? Life’s too short. If you should find a link to SINGER that doesn’t work, let us know and we’ll try to do something about it, if there’s anything to be done.

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