My only thought at this time is to continue to do all the outreach events about insects that I participate in: tours, talks, field trips, etc. and I encourage others to do some as well. During these events, I often hear that familiar query: "why do you have to kill all of this stuff?". I then explain the scientific worth that specimens have, many of which were touched upon in that linked article. Once I explain the reasons, the majority understand. However, I also feel like the databasing of our collections (which I know many of us are actively working towards) will really assist with getting the word out even more because once a collection (or part of it) has gone virtual, people can truly see the benefits of all our collecting. The specimens take on new life because they are no longer sitting in drawers, but have become far more useful nexuses of information. I personally envision a day (far, far off) when we can easily link all of the animal kingdom museum databases to one another, which will reveal a wealth of new data once virtual webs can be drawn between taxa. I was unaware of this Minteer et al. paper until now, so thank you for bringing it to my attention!


Derek A. Woller

Ph.D. Candidate, Conservation Biology (Ecology and Organismal Biology track), and Lab Manager
The Song Laboratory of Insect Systematics and Evolution 

Outreach Coordinator
Stuart M. Fullerton Collection of Arthropods at the University of Central Florida (UCFC)

Vice President
The Entomological Society of Central Florida

On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM, Lynn Kimsey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:



I know that some of you signed the letter to Science to counter the anti-collecting article published by Minteer et al. but now NPR has picked up the article giving it airplay ( Something needs to be done to further counter this article as making this news will serve to make collecting and species level taxonomy even more difficult than it already is.


Any thoughts?


Lynn Kimsey