Are Insects Disappearing from your Biology Textbook?


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Jennifer Landin

Are you noticing less insects in your biology textbook? You’re not alone. Jennifer Landin, with student and co-author Kiran Gangwani, recently decided to quantify the coverage of insects in college-level introductory biology textbooks over time. By exploring the coverage of insect diversity concepts, the visual representation of insects, and conducting a text analysis of keywords, they discovered a significant decline in biology textbook content dedicated to insects, along with an increasingly neutral tone in addressing the animal kingdom’s largest group. Jennifer joins us to discuss the research, how it mirrors the decline of natural history in education, and the implications that taxonomic bias might have on our understanding of ecosystems and human society.


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Featured image courtesy of Brian Bartel, with textbook provided by Appleton West High School in Appleton, WI.

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