Taxonomy has been in something of a crisis, in terms of scientific credibility and, consequently, funding, for several decades. However, a significant renaissance is taking place as a traditional morphology-based taxonomy embraces molecular biology, and exploits an armoury of imaging technology to become a cutting-edge discipline.
Conservation relies on monitoring and cataloguing - impossible without correct identification, insect identification especially for many important groups, has been regarded traditionally as a difficult process. The aim of the Royal Entomological Society's Handbooks for the identification of British Insects has been to facilitate that process,and they have played an important role. However some older handbooks can be difficult to use, and may deter enthusiasts from tackling important groups to which they were initially attracted.
The primary aim of the meeting will be to discuss the future of insect taxonomy in the light of the technological advancements currently available. How can we make insect identification and descriptive taxonomy easier, faster and more obviously relevant? There is recognition among the UK research councils that taxonomy needs support, and yet we fail regularly to present a business model that attracts their support.
Talks are welcomed on any insect taxonomy-related subject, but in particular those that address modernisation of insect taxonomy, and the presentation of taxonomy in user-friendly ways that take advantage of molecular and/or imaging technology.
Andy Polaszek email@example.com