Structure of bionet

BIOSCI Administrator biosci-help at NET.BIO.NET
Fri Aug 19 17:04:08 EST 1994


> 	Some of the discussion on Bionet/Usenet made me wonder a bit about
> the structure of Bionet.  I am not being critical. I am impressed by the
> scholarly nature of the posts.  The noise level is quite low.  Maybe
> that is because as Dave said it is more centrally run.  But who runs it.
> Someone picked on Dave mentioned Intelligenetics (which I assume is a
> commercial outfit).  Is it supported by industry and do they have say in
> control of the net? The big 7 were originally funded by government
> weren't they.  Or does it go back to the bitnet days when Universities
> were sharing by lists and not newsgroups. 

A short history is in order.  The BIONET National Computer Resource
was an NIH-funded centralized timesharing service run through a
cooperative agreement between NIH and IntelliGenetics from 1984 -
1989.  I was manager of that resource from '86 - '89.  The bionet
USENET newsgroups and mailing lists originated back then (initially
only on the BIONET computer) and then became BIOSCI through a
collaboration with the SEQNET group in the U.K. and two other sites in
Europe.  A lot of people have worked on the system over the years and
then moved on to other tasks.  I have mentioned their efforts in many
past posts, and the list is long, so I fear to mention any names
without naming everyone.  Currently BIOSCI represents a collaboration
between Dave Mack and myself at IntelliGenetics and Alan Bleasby's
group at SERC Daresbury.  The Daresbury group is part of the SEQNET
resource funded by SERC, and we are funded by the NSF with
contributions also from DOE and NIH.  This support is acknowledged at
the top of the BIOSCI info sheet.

Industry has no say in the running of the newsgroups, and I try to
bend over backwards when issues come up regarding IntelliGenetics; in
fact some readers actively complain about IG products on the
newsgroups, and we also help run the newsgroups for the GCG software
which is a prime competitor of IG, not to mention providing
communication forums such as bionet.software which foster public
domain software development.  Had we not earned a certain level of
trust, I doubt that the GCG group would have come to be part of
BIOSCI.  I think that we have generally managed to remain neutral and
provide a service without problem to virtually all types of interest
groups on the net.  If anything, commercial companies have had to
endure alone my chastising them for violating NSF network regs when
they posted incorrectly formatted job ads among other things 8-).

				Sincerely,

				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at net.bio.net



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