I got interviewed!

By the folks at Paw-Talk. They usually talk about cute fluffy vertebrates, but made an exception for me :)

Here’s a selection:

“You say you blog for yourself, but you say that you have deliberately chosen “to write things that try to debunk quackery around entomological topics for lay folks.” Explain what you mean and give us some examples.

Because there is a lot of fear and loathing of insects, it’s a great market opportunity. Lots of products are sold that claim to repel insects, or to kill them, and folks don’t always have the background to be able to evaluate them all individually.  Some of the products are flat out frauds, and can be expensive, to boot!

There is also a lot of hype–both positive and negative–about various insecticides and insects, and I try to translate the scientific literature to provide factual evidence for what is said in the media.  Sadly, science has evolved into a system where really interesting research is published in the most boring, incomprehensible, and complex format as possible.  It is absolutely not accessible to the general public, and frankly, sometimes not to me!  It’s a rare paper that I don’t have to read 2 or 3 times to make sure I haven’t missed something. The only group that seems to write as badly as scientists is lawyers.

The blog is practice for me to make sure I don’t forget how to write in a non-technical, non-jargony way. Or, at least, to try!”