Beyonce. bees, Biodiversity, Cross The Chasm, Lighter Language, macro photography, Playful Science, Polarity of Impact, Pollen, storytelling, Sustainability Storytelling
OK. As my preferred space in the world is that of using language and creative storytelling to make very complex or otherwise arcane subjects fun approachable and palatable.
And as I celebrate anyone who has the ability to lighten up to make a serious point, I am currently enamoured with the work of Sam Droege and his team at USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring lab.
Their bee portraits, featured in the Observer’s Tech monthly article last week, were truly awe inspiring.
But the biggie for me was the lightness of touch involved in how Sam summarised the amazing diarising and macro photography of these beautiful creatures.
“We do select out the supermodel bees”. “We wash them in soapy water and then we blow dry the to make them look good”.
Now, using drop dead photography to make smaller insects, especially those holding the key to keeping the biodiversity tree flourishing and fecund, might be a well trodden path. But the lightness of touch did not end there.
It only got better with the revelation that a bootylicious bee had been named after Beyonce Knowles
It seems that Bryan Lessard, a researcher at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, on finding a newly discovered horsefly in Australia with a golden-haired behind, named it Scaptia Beyonceae. That’s Beyonce to you and I. The reasoning is simple enough.
A stroke of Genus genius if you ask me.
That the given name might bring a titan of bio-diversity into the interest framework of an urban 12 year old girl is exactly what every scientist should wish for. The delight of generating Inappropriate degrees of opposite impact; in such a way as to open up the amazing topic of insects to a teenager has to be good.
In the Huffington Post piece Lessard went on to point out “It’s extremely important to name all the un-described species so we can measure our human impact on the environment and hopefully protect it for future generations to enjoy.”
Now if we could get more sustainability practitioners, boffins and innovators to apply the same tack, we might perhaps start with a better communications brief for the brand or communications whizz bangs to start with.
So I’m saying yes to bootylicious bees and the joy-filled triviality of word play and pop culture.
This is the kind of thing that reaches across chasms.
PS Is it me or does Anthrophora Bomboides look a little like Orville The Duck, given a little green fur tinting?