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EcoMole Blog
21 March 2015
The first post
Miloslav NicView Miloslav Nic's profile on LinkedIn

Everything has a beginning and blogs are no exceptions. This is the first post to the EcoMole blog and I hope that it will take many years before somebody writes in the last article: everything has an ending.

Students of biology are trained to distinguish between proximate and ultimate causes of behavior. The proximate causes are the immediate triggers, the ultimate causes are evolutionary forces which shaped responses to these triggers.

The proximate cause of this blog is rather obvious. We are starting a new company and companies need customers. I hope that our blog will find its readers and some of them will become customers.

But in the end, ultimate causes are more important both in biology and in authoring. I am a former university teacher and do like writing (and teaching). For many years I have been creating various study materials about chemistry, programming, ecology, informatics, and many other topics.

At the end of last millennium I have founded Zvon.org, the site has become a favorite destination for both XML novices and experts, and even nowadays it attracts a few thousands visitors daily. Oscillating between informatics and chemistry I led development of the electronic version of IUPAC Gold book, a flagship electronic product of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. For many years I have also been cooperating with libraries and publishers in my native country - the Czech Republic.

The time has come to connect the dots. The ultimate aim is to leverage our knowledge and experience and create a site harnessing modern information and programming technologies in service of environmental protection. EcoMole motto is: Care for nature with knowledge. We are chemists by education and contrary to many articles in popular press we know from personal experience that many chemists deeply care about the environment. They just do not share naive views of some people about rather peculiar selection of environmental topics.

I am a Czech and therefore not a native speaker of English. My grammar school teacher would never believe I could write a few English sentences without a flood of mistakes. Five years after my grammar school exams I arrived at Imperial College. It happened on the 3rd October 1992, on the date set in the official invitation letter, and it was Saturday. I was rather surprised by the date but I thought that Ph.D. students in London worked much harder than the Czech ones. It took a lot of patience and hand movements from the receptionist to disprove this hypothesis but to confirm the second one that my English had not improved much.

23 years later I am bilingual in reading but my late start with real English could not be entirely caught up with. So if my English frustrates you, please remember it could be much worse. :)