Please pass this information to those who might be interested in contributing material to this new project.
A New Initiative for the Global Parkinson's Community
A new wiki has been started for all those interested in scientific research into Parkinson's.
It is a 'Learning Project' within Wikiversity, a sister project to the highly regarded Wikipedia.
A wiki is a website which allows its users to add and modify its content via a web browser. This new wiki is called The Science Behind Parkinson's Disease and everyone throughout the world, particularly those affected by Parkinson's, is invited to participate as a reader or a contributor.
Go to http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Portal:The_Science_Behind_Parkinson%27s to have a look at what has been produced so far.
What's the general idea?
People affected by Parkinson's want to know what the prospects are for better treatments and a cure. The increasing amount of research that is being conducted throughout the world presents a challenge to anyone who wants to follow it and to understand the significance of the various developments. For the lay person, understanding the science is a big hurdle. But we know that many people around the world want to do this and try to do so in their own individual ways.
This wiki has been set up so that the science behind Parkinson's and the latest research progress can be shared and explained in accessible terms. Through this wiki we envision building a framework to make sense of the concepts, ideas and discoveries about what Parkinson's is, how it affects the nervous system and how it might be confronted, keeping it updated it as further progress is made. Above all we want to explain new discoveries as they arise, their context and significance, in terms that are clear and understandable. There appears to be nothing quite like this in existence already.
The sources of knowledge and understanding
Clearly our knowledge about Parkinson's pathogenesis stems from the work of scientists and researchers. Their published papers, reviews, lectures and their presentations at conferences and meetings provide the source of the information that enables students and interested non-specialists to come to a more profound understanding of the complexities of this condition. We hope that all three – lay people, students and professionals – will engage with and contribute to this wiki. All three are needed for producing material at the right level, adding new insights from different perspectives, correcting misconceptions, and maintaining accuracy and reliability. We know that full-time researchers and their students welcome contact with those for whose benefit they are ultimately working. Thus we hope the wiki can play a small part in engendering interaction and collaboration and even in helping to inform strategic research decisions by bringing to bear the ideas and concerns of those most affected by the condition.
Participating in this creative community
Please publicise this initiative to anyone who might be interested especially colleagues, staff and students. Can you help to interest people in contributing material? We hope this project will attract PhD and other students and offer a platform for those working in the field to broaden their perspectives and to engage with people affected by Parkinson's.
This wiki is an entirely volunteer-run initiative, is not controlled or sponsored by any organisation and is open to anyone to participate by editing and contributing material. It operates under the same principles that underpin community projects like wikipedia and wikiversity. It is globally accessible (although at present the language used is confined to English).
We hope you would encourage participation especially if there are developments in specialisms that could be communicated through this medium. We hope, too, that we may call on individual researchers from time to time to comment specifically on material in their areas of expertise and even to write short pieces.
We should like to ask you to put information about this initiative and the internet link on your web site and in your publications. We hope you will regard this wiki as well worth supporting and promoting.
An Active Community
Contemplating and Communicating - the Complexities of Parkinson's
Comprehensively and Comprehensibly
This Parkinson's Science wiki has been started by a few individuals and is now being opened up globally to interested parties who would like to participate in its development.
Please send a response to this email if you have any questions about the initiative or want more guidance about how to be involved.