E.O. Wilson (Edward O. Wilson), biologist at Harvard University, talks about the scope of the massive project to document every living organism.
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Edward O. Wilson: We have a lot of activities going on at Harvard at the present time. But it’s hard to judge how many people are employed full-time or part-time by the encyclopedia project we anticipate will be able to draw down about $30 million from grants that are mainly from the MacArthur. But looking ahead a bit, I would say maybe, if you went around, figure I’d say about 100 people are full-time or a large part of part-time and I would expect that to expand as funding becomes available and we’ll really get on to the logarithmic stage of doing the mapping of the world. But I would expect that probably, eventually, a couple of thousands. It will be a big science project, but I don’t think it will compare in any way in dollars spent to most of our major space program. It probably would be comparable to what was spent for the human genome project and ultimately, it would be a couple billion dollars.

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