12 thoughts on “Sunday Night Movie: Jack Longino, Ant Superhero”

  1. Great film; useful and noble aims of Jack Longino for the Encyclopedia of Life. All I have to say about that is faster please !!

    But the reality makes me sad. All I see are fewer and fewer university positions for systematists / taxonomists with the knowledge of the current retiring generation being lost without replacement. Or do I have it wrong ?

  2. This made me super happy! It’s great to hear his discussion of the map metaphor and the value of specimens.

  3. Now I’ve got to re-write my Polyergus revision, to name all the new species after family members, just as would the Astonishing Ant-Man.

    Seriously though — Too true, BioBob! You’ve got it right, but if the instructors and promoters of things such as the Ant Course, Lep course, Herp Course, Humbolt field Station courses, and any one of a variety of field biology training programs aimed at undergraduates and even high school students succeed, we can hope that more systematist/ecologists will be nurtured that will eventually insinuate their way into academic positions.

    1. >we can hope that more systematist/ecologists will be nurtured that will eventually insinuate their way into academic positions.

      That would be nice. The problem remains that too many universities are just not creating the systematist positions or are even eliminating those few positions that do exist in favor of soft-science or molecular science types of chairs, not that those aren’t needed as well. What we need are some sugar daddies with a mission, lol.

      Ah well, once people are faced with the reality of ignorance, the pendulum may swing back.

    2. At a summer retreat last year I was talking with the dean of our honors college, who also happens to be an excellent professor and was once a pretty brilliant neuroscience researcher. I told him that I was possibly interested in taxonomy, to which he responded that he thought taxonomy was dead, was there even a need for such an antiquated field anymore? In related news, I’ve been told by particularly snooty molecular bio majors that ecology and evolution is less real of a science than *their* discipline.

      Myrmecology has done a pretty good job of outreach for such ignored and often villified creatures. I can’t help but feel sorry for those studying springtail, nematode, or chaetognath taxonomy, though…

      1. What the hell sort of biologist can’t see the need for taxonomy?

        Oh well. I suppose such ineptitude is what causes one to become a dean in the first place.

        1. What ? You haven’t ever encountered the “Barcoding is the Future” crowd ?

          Grab a bucket of bugs and grind them up for the auto-barcode- sequencing and you have ALL the identification one could want !! /sarc

  4. Pingback: Jobs in taxonomy do still exist. At the Smithsonian, for example. – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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