ESA Statement on “Scarabs” Newsletter

July 19, 2018

To ESA members and the entomology profession at large:

Like so many of our members in the insect science community, we at the Entomological Society of America were disturbed to learn recently of the highly inappropriate imagery and language used in a long-running newsletter published by a group of entomologists specializing in scarab beetles.

Such communication that objectifies and demeans people has no place in science and runs counter to ESA’s stated principles and commitment to advancing inclusion and equality within the entomological profession. We applaud the swift action taken by the organizations hosting the newsletter to remove the offending content, and we encourage both those directly involved and the profession at large to view this incident as a learning experience about the continuing responsibility we all must take on in pursuit of these goals.

The Entomological Society of America has made an ongoing commitment to holding its members to the highest standards of professional conduct, and we recognize that much work still needs to be done. In recent years, ESA has instituted a code of conduct for its events, established a protocol for attendees to report harassment or other inappropriate behavior, and launched a diversity and inclusion initiative to further our efforts to foster mentorship, encouragement, tolerance, and mutual respect in the entomological profession.

The ESA Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity Section (SysEB) and the ESA Student Affairs Committee (SAC) have, in reaction to this event, offered recommendations for how the Society can further support an inclusive and diverse membership. (See SysEB statement and SAC letter.) ESA’s volunteer leaders take these recommendations seriously and will formally consider them in August during the next meeting of the ESA Governing Board.

As always, ESA encourages input and feedback from members. If you have questions, concerns, or comments on this subject, please email ESA Executive Director David Gammel at dgammel@entsoc.org.

Sincerely,

Michael P. Parrella, Ph.D.
President, Entomological Society of America