[BiO BB] may I know?

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Fri Apr 12 06:43:32 EDT 2002

Hi Vega.

Funny, it reads like a cross between a timeline of bioinformatics and a
personal curriculum vitae.  Apparently, HAL claims to have coined the word
"bio/informatique" in 1987, which later became "bioinformatics". 
"Informatique" is the French word for "informatics", which means the same
thing as "information technology" (IT) in the US.  Possibly, Temple Smith made
the switch from informatique to informatics, which is by far the more common
spelling of the word.

I did some searching myself, and the only references that I could find to the
HAL being the coiner of the term are webpages related to his own company,
D'Trends, and places where he has consulted.  Apparently, no one else has
given him such credit.


Vinsensius Berlian Vega S N wrote (off of the list):
> Hi Jeff,
> I was browsing through the net when I saw this page
> (http://www.d-trends.com/Bioinformatics/timelinecontent.html)
> where it is stated that "bioinformatics" was coined by Dr. Hwa A. Lim.
> I'm not very sure myself, though...
> Regards,
> Vega
> On Thu, 11 Apr 2002, J.W. Bizzaro wrote:
> > Seema,
> >
> > No single group started bioinformatics.  It slowly developed over decades as
> > sequences and structures became available for computational analyses.  The
> > first time the word "bioinformatics" appears in the scientific literature is
> > in 1991, and I was told by Temple Smith (of Smith-Waterman fame) that he is
> > credited with coining the word.
> >
> > Cheers.
> > Jeff
> >
> > seema trivedi wrote:
> > >
> > > who or which group started Bioinformatics for the first time and
> > > when was it started?

J.W. Bizzaro                                jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.Org        http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we
should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention
of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."
                   -- Benjamin Franklin

More information about the BBB mailing list