Cheminformatics in Korean: An Example of Scientific Self-Organization

August 31, 2007

Hanjo Kim of the Bioinformatics & Molecular Design Research Center (BMDRC) in Seoul, South Korea writes in to tell about his Korean-language cheminformatics blog Agile2Robust. Some of his articles, such as this one on PubChem have been translated from Depth-First; others are based on Depth-First articles.

This completes a circle. It was Kim's post to the Ruby mailing list in late 2005 and the responses to it that helped me in the early days of developing cheminformatics software in Ruby (and writing articles about it here), although Kim probably didn't know it at the time.

During this process, none of the usual scientific protocols have been observed: no journal articles were written or published; no grants to do any of the work were prepared or funded; no presentations were made; and no central authority was involved (at least on my end). In fact, if any of these conventions had been observed, the work would have never seen the light of day. Free tools, free services, and open standards enabled one scientist to connect with another in a way that's impossible to achieve through conventional means.