Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Cook Collection at Michigan State University.

A. J. Cook examining the lepidoptera collection with a student, circa 1890. Photo from Michigan State University's A. J. Cook Collection Website.

Fox News' Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson berated entomologist Anthony Cognato and Michigan State University for using a $187,632 stimulus grant to preserve The Cook Collection, the university's historic arthropod collection. Blogger Debbie Hadley wrote a really great, thoughtful piece in response to this, in which she reminds us that
...the true reach of the MSU arthropod collection goes far beyond East Lansing, Michigan. The Cook Collection is a lending library. Scientists can check out specimens to support their own research for periods of 2 years or more. Their research may in turn lead to new pest management products or techniques, which translates into new jobs in pest control services or product manufacturing.
She goes on to bring this research back to farming practices and finally cost of produce. Read Debbie Hadley's article here.

Alex Wild at Myrmecos Blog also weighs in, and writes that "the insect collections comprise the primary information base about a large threat to productivity of [Michigan's primary] economic sector." Read Alex Wild's piece here.

What a disheartening and ridiculous story on Fox--I am hopeful that the majority of Americans agree that funding for education and research is far from a waste. We're funding the future with these grants. I don't have the heart to include the Fox News video here, so instead I'm sharing a video interview with Anthony Cognato, in which he describes how the collection will be renovated with grant money.

1 comment:

  1. This is a clear case of having to consider the source. The only thing worth watching on Fox is "The Simpsons".