I was in Boston for two days at the Bio-IT meeting. As usual this was a long list of conversations, meetings and chance introductions that will help ChemSpider grow in reputation. I had an opportunity to sit with Peter Murray-Rust, Steve Heller and Alex Tropsha (the latter two gentlemen on our advisory group). We discussed Open Data, specifically in terms of adding spectral data into the NIST MS Database and how the data on the NIST Webbook are NOT Open Data, they are copyrighted. They are FREE to access and even download. But they are copyrighted and not Open.

Peter showed me some of his recent research. It’s research and I won’t discuss the details but I am interested in helping.  Suffice to say that I am impressed by what Peter is doing and I look forward to seeing the results as the work progresses.

Peter, Rajarshi Guha and I were speakers in a session on Open Science. I opened up with my presentation “Crowdsourcing, Collaborations and Text-Mining in a World of Open Chemistry” on SlideShare here.

Peter talked about Open Data and Semantic Data and gave live demos of CrystalEye and Chem4Word. It’s always a risk to do live demos…I’ve done 100s over the years. Peter’s Chem4Word demo failed in the session but I had seen it the day before at the Microsoft BioIT Alliance luncheon and it worked well. The concept of semantic chemistry documents is clear and the alpha version will improve in stability and functionality. I had to leave for my plane before Rajarshi spoke and did not get to see his talk.

ChemSpider was nominated for a Bio-IT Award. There were 72 nominations in total and we did not win but we were up against some very significant projects from organizations such as GSK, Astra Zeneca etc. The winners are listed here. In any case…it was nice to be nominated for a Best Practices Award at the Bio-IT meeting. We clearly have some fans.

I did see some of the “Swine Flu” worries…at least two people were wearing masks. How it all started is know. Patient Zero has been identified…


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