President's Corner: Why Rethink and Reshape Entomology?

Bob Peterson, Ph.D.

Bob Peterson, Ph.D.

May 22, 2019

I ended the previous President’s Corner with, “An innovation culture leads directly to empowerment of all of our members, which in turn allows us to rethink and reshape entomology.” But why do we need to rethink and reshape entomology? As entomologists, we need to be the prime movers for our discipline as it evolves in the 21st century. Those who are not entomologists of course should have input into how our discipline evolves, but we need to take primary responsibility for charting our future.

Is entomology being reshaped? After seeing numerous presentations at the 2019 Branch meetings, I think I can answer that with a resounding “YES.” I saw presentations showing unbelievably sophisticated research and instrumentation that wasn’t even imagined a small handful of years ago. Imaging, sensors, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and other tools, when combined with our members’ immense intellectual capital, are producing a 21st-century entomology and entomologists that will be able to solve seemingly intractable problems. There has been a lot written about the current and future “augmented worker.” It is obvious that the same concept extends to the “augmented entomologist.”

But what is ESA’s role? As I mentioned in the previous President’s Corner, ESA is uniquely positioned to be a synergizing platform that empowers those who want to advocate, influence, invent, innovate, and lead. This platform has the potential to reshape not only the careers of entomologists but also the future of entomology.

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.