A guide to entomology outreach, even during a pandemic

Image of researcher with net in garden.

(Entomology Today) Entomology outreach is an essential part of inviting the public to learn about and engage with insects. Frequently, graduate students are at the forefront of engaging the public in this field. However, not every graduate student is prepared to interact with a pre-entomologist, nor are they convinced that this is an important activity. Here is a beginner’s guide to initiating outreach.

College biology textbooks still portray a world of white scientists

Image of a black woman looking through microscope.

(ScienceNews) According to a new analysis, mentions of white men still dominate biology textbooks despite growing recognition in other media of the scientific contributions of women and people of color. Some good news: Scientists in textbooks are getting more diverse. The bad news: If diversification continues at its current pace, it will take another 500 years for mentions of Black/African American scientists to accurately reflect the number of Black college biology students.

Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students

Image of university campus.

(AP) The Trump administration has rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer schools or leave the country if their colleges hold classes entirely online this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the decision as a court hearing was getting underway on a challenge to the rule by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ICE: Foreign students must leave the U.S. if their colleges go online-only this fall

Image of ICE building.

(NPR) Foreign students attending U.S. colleges that will operate entirely online this fall semester cannot remain in the country to do so, according to new regulations released Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The federal guidance limits options for international students and leaves them with an uncomfortable choice: attend in-person classes during a pandemic or take them online from another country. And for students enrolled in schools that have already announced plans to operate fully online, there is no choice.

Who likes – and doesn’t like – bees?

Image of researchers conducting in-person survey.

(The Wildlife Society) A new study found that many people in Phoenix, Arizona, feel either neutral about bees or dislike them but overall don’t see bees as a problem in their yards. The researchers hope their findings can help inform education outreach to citizens in order to help conserve the pollinators. “We were trying to understand who likes bees and who doesn’t.”

Open Entomology: tips and tools for better reproducibility in your research

Image of researcher in the woods.

(Entomology Today) “Reproducibility is a hot topic in today’s scientific world. Chances are, you’ve come across mentions in news outlets or social media sites of the “reproducibility crisis” in the medical and social sciences. These reproducibility issues have led to a movement to make science more open, especially with respect to how we handle our data, carry out our analyses, produce our results, and report our findings. By being more transparent about how we have carried out our work, the hope is that we will make our work more reproducible. Many tools are available to make our work more reproducible…”

Stuck at home, scientists discover nine new insect species

Image of scientists in front of microscope in makeshift lab at home.

(Wired) Without a DNA sequencer, two Los Angeles entomologists relied on two of biology’s oldest tools: microscopes and lots of free time. Sifting through thousands of insects previously collected via a citizen science project, they ended up discovering nine new species of small flies. “It definitely makes me appreciate what scientists of the past were able to accomplish with rudimentary tools. I don’t have an ergonomic chair at home; I don’t have a fancy microscope. We are all feeling appreciation for things we take for granted.”