Recruiting Entomologists

Entomology is a noble and often misunderstood profession. Many people are simply uninterested in insects or afraid of them. They think of people who are overly fond of insects as unusual at best. Young people with an interest in insects are sometimes discouraged by adults from pursuing what could be an enjoyable, productive and sometimes lucrative career. These adults often do not realize that many opportunities are available to young people who have a strong interest in insects.

High profile role models can help change public perceptions. To this end, the Royal Entomological Society (Great Britain) has organized National Insect Week. They took their Insect Safari to the gardens of Prince Charles who led school children on an insect collecting adventure. Prince Charles is a patron of organic gardening and biodiversity. His Highgrove Estate is a model organic garden noted for its wildflower meadow.

Who better to model the joys of entomology and the study and collection of insects than Prince Charles? If insect collecting is good enough for Prince Charles, perhaps the interest that our youth have for insects should not be discouraged?

Prince Charles Demonstrates a Sweep Net in His Gardens
Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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