As the year comes to a close, there always seems to be much “looking back” at the previous year, and predictions of the year to come. Fortune predicts that Apple will buy Tesla. The Guardian says the UN will elect a woman as the new secretary general. Nostradamus says that Obama will be the last president (he was alive in the 1500’s when there wasn’t a US so wrap your head around that one).
I see great things for the coming year. The entomological awesomeness will be … well… awesome!
First, we will see tons of new research. A recent article in American Entomologist showed
that over the last 50 years, entomological research has skyrocketed for
many groups of insects. In some cases, there has been an average of 45 articles per week! This trend will continue throughout 2016. Knowledge is power and combine that with the power of the internet, you have research that can be accessed and viewed by nearly anyone interested. Since entomology connects to everything, this could mean more advances in medicines, robotics, food resources, and almost anything that can be imagined.
Second, climate change will continue and
because of that, we will see shifts in insect populations. We already see many pest populations expanding to new areas due to warmer temps. As precipitation and other environmental changes also occur, we will see dwindling populations of some species, and increases in others. This will have an impact on the overall environment, but it will take many more years to see exactly what and how big that impact will be.
Third, citizen science will save the world! Okay, maybe not quite, but it will continue to take off. Researchers will take advantage of the vast group on individuals that are interested in entomology to help collect data. Individuals will do science projects that have significant impacts for entomology. For too long, university scientists have cloistered
themselves and looked down on non-academics; that changes in 2016! To get started, check here for projects in your area.
Lastly, Richard Branson will hire me as his staff entomologist. Come on, why not? He strives to make the world a better place (entomology can help). He is an environmentalist (we need to save the insects to protect the environment). He has aspirations for space (for long space travels or colonizations, we will need insects to help). Seriously, I’m up for the challenge!
And of course, this blog will make it big and reach billions all over the world! Until then, I will continue to bring on the entomological awesomeness! Will you continue to share it?