From early days the sharing of knowledge has been one of the main forces driving science and innovation. Yet latterly, the pharmaceutical industry with its fear of loss of intellectual property has stalled the engine that has given so many beneficial outcomes. This article argues that the semantic web offers the hope of a new golden age of drug discovery.
Established fields of study preserve their history and support advancement by developing and using a common language, without which those fields could not progress at a reasonable pace. The so-called ‘language of mathematics’, for example, provides a universal way for mathematicians everywhere to understand the discipline as it stands today, and to contribute their own work such that it can be understood by their colleagues.