President’s Corner: Why Advocate Entomology?

Bob Peterson, Ph.D.

Bob Peterson, Ph.D.

January 2, 2019

The theme for Entomology 2019 is Advocate Entomology! But why? I must admit to second-guessing my chosen theme. As entomologists, should we advocate––i.e., publicly support a cause or policy––when doing the science that we do?

Each year for the ESA Annual Meeting, the program committee encourages symposia that conform to the theme. Imagine a symposium title like, “Advocating life tables for understanding population dynamics of insects.” A little awkward, right? But, in thinking through the theme, a deeper understanding emerged for me. The lasting purpose of the theme is that we must advocate at all times because we are proud of our discipline, the people who practice it, and the contributions we make to save and improve lives. In doing so, we are not compromising our objectivity as scientists, educators, and professionals, nor are we throwing the scientific method under the bus.

In fact, by advocating entomology, we are bringing attention to the value of discoveries in our discipline. As one of our Society’s three core strategic principles states, “ESA must increase its influence to realize our profession’s full potential.” To realize our full potential and maximize our benefit to society, we must increase our influence––and to do that we must Advocate Entomology!

Robert K. D. Peterson, Ph.D.
President, Entomological Society of America
Professor of Entomology, Montana State University

Read past editions of President's Corner.