This Machine Makes Knowledge


A Knowledge Machine

What is a website but a machine, powered by electricity and information?

I am developing a website to chronicle my search for knowledge to support new collaborations for sound environmental stewardship and the promotion of human health and creativity.

My method derives from “As We May Think,” a 1945 Atlantic Monthly essay by Vannevar Bush, President Roosevelt’s science advisor during World War II. Bush’s vision led to the development of the hyperlink and the World Wide Web.

Today at its launch, the machine captures three areas of investigation:

  • Ethnobotanical Herbarium: local knowledge about useful plants. Open access to peer-reviewed journal articles in ethnobotany, via my blog. Includes real-time updates from PubMed and the Encyclopedia of Life, and a gallery of photos of medicinal plants on display at leading botanical gardens in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe.
  • Native Cinema: films with a local POV. Movies about people, places, and cultures, with real-time updates via IMDb and producers’ websites and links to my blog posts from film festivals focusing on independent world cinema.
  • Sacred Places: sustainability from the ground up. A guide to biosphere reserves, natural parks, and other protected areas. Includes links to my blog posts, park websites, and profiles on UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme MaB Database of biosphere reserves and the World Database on Protected Areas.

At the same time that I’m developing this new resource, I am reaching out to more than a hundred institutions around the world that have engaged my attention via the machine, to offer my services as a consulting writer, providing:

  • writing and editorial services (including but not limited to key messages, press materials, white papers, website development, and social media campaigns)
  • development and publicity support
  • strategic counsel (especially for startups and established groups facing novel opportunities and challenges)

My intent is to make good use of my ability and experience to promote the work of those groups to potential partners and funders globally.

I invite you to follow this blog and my Twitter feed as I integrate new resources and continually tweak the machine to become more efficient and comprehensive.

The information on my websites is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.