Crazy ants, the New York Times, and the failure of Americans to support basic research

“I don’t see the point of singling out the egghead scientists for being slow to identify Nylanderia fulva when the real trouble is bigger and structural. Americans simply don’t value basic research enough to support a system that rapidly pinpoints emerging pest problems.

“If we want to quickly identify new pests, we need to salary thousands of positions for taxonomists where rapid response to emerging threats is part of the job. Instead, we’re doing the opposite. Taxonomists are being laid off. Congress is defunding science. The result is that when a new problem like invasive crazy ants arises, we depend on retirees and hobbyists to volunteer their expertise, if they want to. As a response to billion-dollar invasions, that’s just not good enough.”

via – Crazy ants, the New York Times, and the failure of Americans to support basic research.

 

About alphacarey

Professor, Life Sciences Department, Palomar College, San Marcos CA
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