In early May 1996, 450 scientists, engineers, and policy makers from many countries were invited to the Bahamas to participate in defining the EOLSS body of knowledge. The Bahamas Workshop was the culmination of international collaborative efforts to generate a detailed list of contents and achieve a global consensus and acceptance of its structure.

The Bahamas Workshop followed several smaller workshops that had been held earlier in 1996: in Washington DC (January 25-28), Tokyo (March 7-8), Moscow (March 13-15), Mexico City (March 28-29), and Beijing (March 29-31). In addition, a team of scientists from the French Academy of Sciences provided an assessment and recommendations. These earlier meetings and the Bahamas Workshop were devoted not only to the overall philosophy and scope of the EOLSS, but also to identifying in-depth coverage of specific issues.

The results from Bahamas workshop were reviewed by invited specialist teams of experts in USA, Japan, Russia and China in collaboration with additional meetings: August 1996 Panama, Regional Committee for South and Central America; September 1996 Abu Sultan, Egypt Regional Committee for Africa and the Middle East; March 1997 Kuala Lumpur, Asian Regional Committee, to complete and unify the list of contents.

The EOLSS House of knowledge is shown in Figure 3. The body of knowledge has been defined in terms units called Themes. The hierarchy of contributions themes is shown in Figure 4. There are a few exceptions: themes under Regional Reviews extend only to the Topic Level. A theme has three distinctive levels of writings: Theme Level, Topic Level and Article Level, with an increasing depth of specialization. Each theme with its Topics and Articles may be regarded as a collection of about thirty Chapters. The full text of the EOLSS Body of Knowledge, comprising about 200 themes, and has been developed under the expertise of Honorary Theme Editors (HTEs). The contributions come from over 6000 authors from over 100 countries.

Figure 3. EOLSS House of Knowledge


Figure 4: Hierarchical structure of the EOLSS body of knowledge

See also: EOLSS Contributions.

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