Early Activities and The Scientific Advisory Board

The activities of The Dirac Foundation were fairly low-key in the first years partly to avoid conflict of interest of its participants with other ventures. They largely, but by no means solely, involved scholarly meetings and “Think Tank” activities, especially in regard to Professor Dirac’s thinking and interests, between thought leaders in diverse scientific disciplines overlapping with medical and veterinary domains. These participants reflected a club of researchers and engineers in areas related to biomedicine who have been interested in information technology and physics, and especially quantum mechanics, and admirers of Professor Dirac’s work.

They soon constituted the Scientific Advisory Board of the foundation. The past board has included luminaries such as physicist Professor Rodney Cotterill and protein scientists and bioinformatics pioneer Dr. Jean Garnier, both of whom received knighthoods or comparable honors in their countries of residency and, for a short period before his untimely death, Dr Nobel Laureate Peter Mitchell.

The current Scientific Advisory Board, to be extended, currently includes Dr Ulysses G. Balis, M.D., Professor, Department of Pathology and Director, Division of Informatics, University of Michigan, and Mr Srinidhi Boray B.E., systems engineer and executive, founder of Ingine.

The foundation was also early involved in charitable activities such as lectures given to school children on related topics, and was especially interested to address bright dyslexic students. The Dirac Foundation lectures specifically addressing the impact of Professor Dirac in biology was given annually at the Bioinformatics Industrializations Workshops”  and subsidiary meetings supported by IBM, the US Department of Energy, the International Unions Bioinformatics Group, and the International  Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics,  They spanned a period from 2000 to about 2005, the first being held at the Whitehead Institute linked to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts,  on the day that the Human Genome Project was announced by the President of the United States. Subsequent and ancillary meetings were held at other locations, notably the University College San Fransco, T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, and the European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge in the UK.

Recent Activities and Consolidation of the Mission.

The visions of The Dirac Foundation have more recently consolidated in terms of a “Thinking Web” on the Internet to serve human and Animal medicine, based on interchangeable objects that originate in the notation and algebra for quantum mechanics developed by Professor Dirac.  Publications in the name of the Dirac Foundation have, on those grounds, considerably intensified since 2009. The earliest efforts to apply the Dirac notation and algebra to medical information technology began to yield ideas in a paper “The new physician as unwitting quantum mechanic: is adapting Dirac’s inference system best practice for personalized medicine, genomics, and proteomics” by Dr Barry Robson J Proteome Res. 2007 Aug;6(8):3114-26. Epub 2007 Jul 3. The methods were however, not consolidated until 2009-2010, and the larger number of papers, both attributed to The Dirac Foundation and making direct novel use of Professor Dirac’s ideas, have appeared since then. Particularly motivational was the call of the (US) President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in 2010 for an “XML-like” Universal Exchange Language (UEL) for healthcare on the Internet.

A happy coincidence between the appearance of XML, the Dirac Notation, and the “semantic triple” structure concepts used in the emerging Semantic Web, which seeks to link all data and knowledge, facilitated the implementation of Professor Dirac’s ideas. It facilitated them as a UEL both for healthcare and also for the Semantic Web. Dirac’s notation and UEL also have algebraic force, and represent a tool for Artificial Intelligence and the future Thinking Web”.

Publications at least in Part of The Dirac Foundation

  1. Deckelman and Robson, B. “Split-Complex Numbers and Dirac Bra-Kets” Communications in Information and Systems (CIS), in press (2015).
  2. Robson, B., Caruso, T, and Balis, U. G. J. “Suggestions for a Web Based Universal Exchange and Inference Language for Medicine. Continuity of Patient Care with PCAST Disaggregation.” Computers in Biology and Medicine, 56,   51 (2015).
  3. Robson, B. “POPPER, a Simple Programming Language for Probabilistic Semantic Inference in Medicine. Computers in Biology and Medicine “Computers in biology and Medicine”, 56, 107 (2015).
  4. Robson, B. (2014) “Hyperbolic Dirac Nets for Medical Decision Support. Theory, Methods, and Comparison with Bayes Nets” Computers in Biology and Medicine, 51:183-97.
  5. Robson, T. P. Caruso and U. G. J. Balis, Suggestions for a Web Based Universal Exchange and Inference Language for Medicine, Computers in Biology and Medicine, 43(12), 2297 (2013).
  6. Robson, B (2013) “The Concept of Novel Compositions of Matter. A Theoretical Analysis.” Intellectual Property Rights, Robson, B (2013) “The Concept of Novel Compositions of Matter. A Theoretical Analysis.” Intellectual Property Rights, I 1:108. doi: 10.4172/ipr.1000108
  7. Robson, B. (2012) “Towards Automated Reasoning for Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence”, Pharmaceutical Technology and Drug Research, Pharmaceutical Technology & Drug Research 2012 1: 3 ( 27 March 2012)
  8. Robson, B. and McBurney, R. (2012) “The role of information, bioinformatics and genomics”, pp77-94 In Drug Discovery And Development: Technology In Transition, Second Edition, Ed. Hill, R.G., Rang, P. Eds. Elsevier Press.
  9. Robson, B. “Towards New Tools for Pharmacoepidemiology”, Advances in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 1:6,
  10. Robson, B., Li, J., Dettinger, R., Peters, A., and Boyer, S.K. (2011), Drug discovery using very large numbers of patents. General strategy with extensive use of match and edit operations. Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design 25(5): 427-441 (2011)
  11. Robson, B. and Vaithiligam, A. (2010) “Drug Gold and Data Dragons: Myths and Realities of Data Mining in the Pharmaceutical Industry” pp25-85 in Pharmaceutical Data Mining, Ed Balakin, K. V. , John Wiley & Sons
  12. Robson, B., and Baek, O.K. (2009) “The Engines of Hippocrates: From the Dawn of Medicine to Medical and Pharmaceutical Informatics”, John Wiley & Sons [Book: 600 pages]