Entomology & Society News
Ian Scott: The President's Address
At the beginning of a fresh, new year I am glad to report that the ESO is equally revitalized, in part due to a number of successes in 2014. Last year saw positive news for JESO submissions, more outreach events and new venues for the annual meeting, all of which I hope will continue in 2015. For many years the society’s journal (JESO, among many other previous names) was consid-ered one of the top entomological publications and was contributed to by systematists, economic ento-mologists and naturalists alike. Over the last 10 or more years the publication field has grown immense and unfortunately for JESO, the competition meant declining interest in a journal without an impact factor and online presence. This was reme-died in the past several years with online access to JESO through the publisher or ESO website and the rereleasing of electronic versions of articles from the past 140 years. Even though publications were up by the end of the year (thanks John), JESO may not regain the level of submissions it once had in the “heyday” of the society, but it will hopefully be able to hold its own as the “flagship” of the society. On another positive note, the “new look” newsletter has also blossomed with thanks to co-editors, Amanda and Trevor. Colourful insect photos and topical articles of interest make for entertaining reading (as you will see in this issue).
Members of the society (including those on the board) have always been willing to provide their unique services to public and private groups that wanted an entomologist’s perspective. A few years ago the ESO outreach committee developed a pamphlet that outlined some of the skills and topics that members could bring to a meeting or classroom. In 2013, ESO members in Ottawa took the plunge themselves by organizing the first annual “Bug Day” that attracted over 1000 interested Ottawa folks to come out and learn more about insects. The success of this outreach event surprised and delighted the ESO and indicated the potential for the society and its friends in local naturalist groups to get the message out - “INSECTS ARE COOL”! The Ottawa Bug Day spawned an even larger, repeat event and two others at new locations in Manitoulin Island and London in 2014, both very successful in attendance and positive feedback. Although the ESO has always considered it’s self an important conduit of entomology facts and discoveries through the traditional journal and scientific presentation routes, the realization that relatively large public oriented outreach events could revitalize the purpose of the society is definitely heart-warming indeed. In the coming year there is likely going to be re-peat events in the three locations, with the potential for Guelph and Toronto joining in. The idea that the society is taking the lead in disseminating facts both educational and fun while promoting science in general to the next generation of young researchers is very rewarding for those of us who only a short time ago were agoniz-ing over the future of this longstanding society.
Another encouraging indicator are ideas for the hosting of the next few ESO AGMs in locations where they have not been held previously or for some time. The annual meeting in Toronto in October was a great success both scientifically and financially (congratulations Antonia and committee!). In the not too distant future, Trent University, Queens University and the University of Guelph campus in Ridgetown may become meeting sites. The Toronto meeting last October brought in an interested number of field naturalists, an important factor in promoting our events in the broader community and encouraging new ESO members. In 2015, the goals should be to support the outreach events in your area, encourage members, new and old, to submit their articles to JESO, and to get students out to the annual meetings to give them a chance to show their talents in front of their peers.
Best wishes to everyone for a happy and prosperous New Year.
President of the ESO
" . . . the society is taking the lead in disseminating facts both educational and fun while promoting science in general to the next generation of young researchers . . ."
President-Elect Ian Scott
ESO President Jeremy McNeil
Past President Jeff Skevington