The World Wide Web continues to provide unprecedented opportunities for the collection, organization and dissemination of information. Five organizations are coordinating the Encyclopedia of Life "to organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth." The Encyclopedia is a series of websites devoted to the 1.8 million or so species of life on earth. Everyone is invited to participate as a curator, a contributor, and/or a donor. The site Encyclopedia of Life went live in February 2008.
The five organizations coordinating the Encyclopedia are the Biodiversity Heritage Library, The Field Museum, Harvard University, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and the Smithsonian Institution.
This new wiki is the brainchild of Biologist E. O. Wilson, who announced his dream at a March 2007 Technology Entertainment Design (TED) speaking engagement. The MacArthur Foundation and the Sloan Foundation committed to an initial $50 million funding grant.