Last updated: August 29, 2007


For over half a millennium, science has been a way of discovering and understanding our universe. Tools that create virtual worlds provide a new means for science professionals and enthusiasts to interact with one another and to engage the general public. While other technologies currently allow for more convenient searching and retrieval of information, our experiences have suggested that inhabited virtual worlds foster more exploration and communication of ideas. To better test the applicability of this tool toward the advancement of science, we have agreed to adjoin our distinct but similar content to create the virtual continent of SciLands.


The SciLands are a chain of islands in the virtual world of Second Life. The SciLands are dedicated to the exhibition and practice of the natural and applied sciences, as well as associated technologies.


Each institution with at least one island in the SciLands may select one avatar-delegate to represent it on the SciLands Senate. Owners of privately funded and operated islands may also be instated as avatar-delegates to the Senate.

Each avatar-delegate casts one vote, regardless of the number of islands it represents.

Additional “honorary senators”, without vote, can be nominated and voted on by the Senate. Approval must be more than 2/3rds vote.


The Scilands Council meets as needed to discuss long-term planning and day-to-day issues related to the SciLands. The Council discusses and brings new proposals to the Senate for approval. The Council also enforces policies already approved by the Senate.

A council of five (5) members will be selected semi-annually from the Senate and by vote of the full Senate. Three (3) of the seats on the Council will be reserved for representatives from educational, government, and other organizations. The remaining seats will be open to any member of the Senate. The Council, once elected, will vote to select its own chair. A quorum vote (greater than or equal to two-thirds) by the Senate may call for a re-election of the Council at any time.


Institutions wishing to place a new island or islands within the Scilands’ borders will discuss this first with members of the Council. Once a quorum of the Council members agree that the new island should be incorporated and where it should be placed, the proposal will be forwarded to the Senate.

Approval by the Senate requires a majority vote by all members and a unanimous vote by members representing islands that will neighbor the new island(s).


Membership in the SciLands requires no explicit dues beyond fees paid to Linden Lab. However, participating members agree to pay fees for any island relocations deemed necessary by the Council at most one time per year.


Concerns that an island does not comply with the principles of the SciLands should be brought to the Council. If a quorum of the Council members agree that the concerns are warranted, the island in question will be “on probation” and given three (3) months to be brought back into compliance. At that time, if a quorum of the Council members agree that the issues have been resolved, the island will be taken off of probation. Otherwise, the island owner and members affiliated with the parent organization will be removed from the SciLands, losing all voting and communication privileges.


Proposed changes to these by-laws must be approved by the Council and distributed to the Senate two (2) weeks before a vote of approval. A quorum vote is required for passing proposed changes.