Category Archives: Ontology

Ontology of fear

Brian Rea's fears mural

Brian Rea, a designer, art director, and artist, is the topic of a recent online article in Fast Company magazine. Rea has created two giant murals (7 x 3.5-meters, according to Fast Company), on which he has written the names of various fears, organized by type. For instance, there are major categories for fears about physical/natural events, emotional events, supernatural events, and political events.

UFO #1

Rea told Fast Company that he “spent a few months researching UFO sightings and reports from the last 50 years” in order to depict fears about UFO’s.

UFO image #2

It seems to me that looking at these murals might provide some insight into an ontology of fears. Besides the intrinsic interest of such an ontology, I suspect it might be useful to psychiatrists or psychologists looking for insight about hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, and other moods and mental states. I haven’t been able to identify any such ontology currently being built, and I hope that interested ontologists searching the Internet might come across this posting.

The murals are being shown at the Murals exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, at the Fundació Joan Miró, until 6 June 2010.

OBO Foundry announces approved ontologies

The OBO Foundry has just announced that a set of ontologies have been reviewed, and have been found to be compliant with OBO Foundry principles. The approved ontologies include the following.

Chemical Entities of Biological Interest
Gene Ontology
Phenotypic Quality Ontology
Protein Ontology
Xenopus Anatomy Ontology
Zebrafish Anatomy Ontology

These ontologies are intended to represent a broad range of biological phenomena without overlapping with one another, and so are intended to be used in a modular fashion by a variety of researchers. Developing these ontologies helps the research community as a whole by improving these multi-purpose classification tools.

Other ontologies are being reviewed at present, and it is anticipated at the Foundry that these will also be approved, pending revision.

The OBO Foundry has announced that ”we will be publishing a revised set of principles which will be applied in future reviews in the period following the February 2010 OBO Foundry meeting,” noting that ”At every stage, these are best conceived as a set of guidelines designed to promote evolutionary improvement in the ontologies; like the ontologies themselves, these principles will always be subjected to further review in the future.”