Editor’s Choice: A warm & fuzzy story about creepy crawlies. Though slightly tangential to citizen science, this story illustrates a key ingredient to successful science outreach: scientists seeing a little bit of themselves in their audience. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Morgan Jackson and Sophia Spencer interviewed on NPR, via the link below. — AWA —
Excerpt: Sophia Spencer, 8, loves bugs — especially grasshoppers. She’s an expert on insects, and likes to give her littlest friends an occasional ride on her shoulder. That used to earn her mockery from her peers. But now it’s earned her a massive outpouring of support — and a byline in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. Everything changed after Sophia’s mom, Nicole Spencer, reached out to scientists for support last year. She wrote to the Entomological Society of Canada and explained the dilemma. Her daughter wanted to know if she could learn more about bugs as a job, but her mom wasn’t sure how to encourage her. And she wanted to reassure her that her entomological enthusiasm wasn’t weird.
Source: Domonoske, C. and Kennedy, M., 2017. Once Teased For Her Love Of Bugs, 8-Yr Old Co-Authors Scientific Paper, 19 September 2017. Available at NPR: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/19/551876044/once-teased-for-her-love-of-bugs-8-year-old-co-authors-scientific-paper [Last accessed 7 November 2017].