President’s Corner: Why Innovate?
Bob Peterson, Ph.D.
February 27, 2019
Although our theme at ESA this year is Advocate Entomology! and we have several initiatives around that theme, a very important corollary initiative is innovation. This year, we are embarking on some activities that we hope are only the beginning of creating a lasting culture of innovation at your ESA.
I hope you’ve seen announcements for our inaugural Antlion Pit, a competition for you to pitch your innovative idea for an entomology-related product, technology, solution, process, or service. The yearlong activities will culminate at Entomology 2019 in St. Louis with an entertaining pitch competition––think Shark Tank, but for entomology. In my next President’s Corner column, I’ll discuss the Antlion Pit in more detail.
At our upcoming summer meetings of the Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Governing Board, we are having an Innovation Day during which we will generate and share ideas that have the potential to reshape entomology and ESA. In a future President’s Corner column, you’ll see much more about this effort.
But, I still need to address the question that is the title of this column: Why is innovation so important for entomology and ESA? We are experiencing astonishing advances in technology, dramatic changes in demography, and disruption of hierarchical structures in nearly every sphere of human activity. Innovation is more crucial than ever to advance entomology into the 21st century and for us to continue to benefit the public. ESA is fortunate to have members who possess immense intellectual capital. When this intellectual capital is combined with a commitment from ESA to encourage a culture of innovation, profound results can occur that can be of benefit to you, entomology, and society.