This thematic issue arose from a symposium held in the Unilever Centre [for Molecular Science Informatics, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge] on 2011-01-15/17 to celebrate the career of Peter Murray-Rust. From the programme:
This symposium addresses the creativity of the maturing Semantic Web to the unrealized potential of Molecular Science. The world is changing and we are in the middle of many revolutions: Cloud computing; the Semantic Web; the Fourth Paradigm (data-driven science); web democracy; weak AI; pervasive devices; citizen science; Open Knowledge. Technologies can develop in months to a level where individuals and small groups can change the world. However science is hamstrung by archaic approaches to the publication, redistribution and re-use of information and much of the vision is (just) out of reach. Social, as well as technical, advances are required to realize the full potential. We've asked leading scientists to let their imagination explore the possible and show us how to get there.
This is a starting point for all of us - the potential of working with the virtual world of scientists and citizens, coordinated through organizations such as the Open Knowledge Foundation and continuing connection with the Cambridge academic community makes this one of the central points for my future.
The pages in this document represent vibrant communities of practice which are growing and are offered to the world as contributions to a bsemantic molecular future.
We have combined talks from the symposium with work from the Murray-Rust group into 15 articles.