Event today: Diversity Speaker Series – Insights from Insects
How can viewing life from the perspective of an insect help you become a better person?
To find out, come to this month’s Diversity Speaker Series event featuring Ralph Washington, Jr., who will speak on the topic, “Insights from Insects: Life Lessons from the Small and Short-Lived.” This event is co-sponosored by Joanna Trammell, program manager of Culture, Engagement, and Diversity, and the Black Staff and Faculty Organization.
Washington will explain how his pursuit of entomology is directly responsible for every important thing that has happened in his life, and how viewing the world from the perspective of an insect has helped him maintain empathy for himself and others. Washington’s study of insects has made him a better person, because he has learned about aspects of insect biology that are potent metaphors for human experience: the short adult life of mayflies taught him that something does not have to last forever to be incredibly meaningful; the many years that periodical cicadas spend under the soil taught him that significant growth is always the result of sustained incremental progress; and the fact that a caterpillar spins a cocoon without knowing that it will become a butterfly taught him that you cannot always predict the outcome of a transformative experience.
Washington is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a third-year graduate student in entomology, and a two-time national and international champion of entomological natural history trivia. He is the president of the UC Student Association, an endeavor that allows him to pursue his commitments to both science and social justice. He will continue doing so during his future career, by presenting science to low-income children.
Click here to watch Washington’s remarks about fireflies at the September UC Regents meeting.
For more information about this event, please contact Joanna.Trammell@ucop.edu