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    PRESS RELEASE: Bioinformatics.Org announces the laureate of the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Award
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006


    Bioinformatics.Org is proud to present the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Award in the Life Sciences to Michael Ashburner of Cambridge University. As expressed by his nominators, Prof. Ashburner has made fundamental contributions to many open access bioinformatics projects including FlyBase [1], the GASP project [2], the Gene Ontology project [3], and the Open Biological Ontologies project [4], and he was instrumental in the establishment of the European Bioinformatics Institute [5]. He is also known for advocating open access to biological information [6].

    The Benjamin Franklin Award in the Life Sciences is a humanitarian award presented annually by Bioinformatics.Org to an individual who has, in his or her practice, promoted free and open access to the materials and methods used in the life sciences. The Award is named for Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the most remarkable men of his time. Scientist, inventor, statesman, Franklin freely and openly shared his ideas and refused to patent his inventions, and it is the opinion of the founders of Bioinformatics.Org that he embodied the best traits of a scientist.

    At the end of 2005, requests for nominations for the 2006 Award were sent out to more than 17,000 members of Bioinformatics.Org. Any individual who received more than one nomination was considered a nominee and had their name placed on the ballot for final selection by the membership.

    The ceremony for the presentation of the Award will be held at the 2006 Bioinformatics.Org Annual Meeting (BiOAM), held in conjunction with the Life Sciences Conference and Expo, Boston, Massachusetts, April 3 to 5, 2006. The presentation will be made April 5 at 10:00 AM, and it is open to all attendees. It involves a short introduction, the presentation of the certificate, and the laureate seminar. Please see for more information on the event.

    Past laureates of the Benjamin Franklin Award in the Life Sciences include Ewan Birney (2005), Lincoln Stein (2004), James Kent (2003) and Michael Eisen (2002). More information on the Award can be found at


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