It’s finally snowing in Ithaca, just in time for spring! While the winter weather sends many of us into hibernation, perhaps we can appreciate the emergence of a giant stick insect, Dryococelus australis. Here’s a video of it emerging from an egg. Presumed extinct in the 1960s from its native Lord Howe Island, these giant insects have been found and are now being successfully bred in captivity. Hooray science!
For the full coverage, check out Krulwich Wonder’s blog post for today.
This is an article from Good about the possibility of including insects in our diet as a form of protein to increase food supplies. It’s an interesting proposition, as there are already several countries where insects are regularly consumed, either as a delicacy or as a staple for particular dishes. Here’s a list of the many edible insects from Girl Meets Bug, though I can’t say I’ve tried many. While this may be a way of addressing hunger issues, it doesn’t directly address many of the political challenges associated with food distribution nor the nutritional requirements for a balanced diet.
The Good article also highlights some other common uses of insects, including cochineal. It should be corrected that cochineal are not beetles, they’re scale insects in the order Hemiptera.
I think one of my main motivations of this blog is to check back every so often, and think about the context of my work within a greater body of knowledge. That, and considering the importance of my work and the potential impact it has.
As I was getting an oil change the other day, I came across a Scientific American article about scientific perception, the title: Trust Me, I’m a Scientist. It made me think of another science-y article, The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science, on Mother Jones. One short article, one long article, both valuable in trying to understand the battles I may face as a scientist.
There is truly a great deal of value in the work in which my colleagues are involved. My focus is in the applied sector and problem solving with growers. In this regard, it is important to understand and recognize the preconceptions and notions based on cultural and experiential knowledge that people may have.