Public Release: 

ESA vice president-elect named National Medal of Science winner

Entomological Society of America


IMAGE: Dr. May Berenbaum, 2014 Vice President-Elect of the Entomological Society of America, was recently named as a recipient of the National Medal of Science. view more

Credit: Entomological Society of America

Dr. May Berenbaum, 2014 Vice President-Elect of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), has been named a winner of the National Medal of Science, the United States' highest honor for achievement in science and technology.

"I don't think you can top this one, I really don't," Dr. Berenbaum said. "This one is such an enormous honor. Many people this year are science heroes of my own. And I'm so incredibly thrilled to be on the same list."

Dr. Berenbaum -- who also won the 2011 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the 2010 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award, the 2006 ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, and the 1994 ESA Founders' Memorial Award -- will serve as ESA's Vice President in 2015 and as President in 2016, the year that ESA will host the 2016 International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida (ICE 2016). The 2016 Congress, which will be held in conjunction with events and meetings with other international entomological societies, is likely to be the largest gathering of insect scientists in history.

Dr. Berenbaum has been an ESA member since 1980, and she has written a column called "Buzzwords" for American Entomologist since 1991. She is also the author of many books intended for a general audience, including Buzzwords: A Scientist Muses on Sex, Bugs, and Rock 'n' Roll; Bugs in the System: Insects and Their Impact on Human Affairs; and The Earwig's Tail: A Modern Bestiary of Multi-legged Legends.

She is also well-known for founding the Insect Fear Film Festival, an event that has been held annually at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign for more than 30 years, which invites the audience to have fun with Hollywood insect-horror movies while simultaneously learning about the inaccuracies in the movies.

"I couldn't be more pleased to learn the good news that May Berenbaum will be awarded a National Medal of Science by President Obama. On behalf of all ESA members, I congratulate May for receiving this well-deserved honor," said 2014 ESA President Frank Zalom. "In addition to her contributions to entomology and the scientific enterprise in general in this country, she has also served ESA in a number of capacities and has been a wonderful teacher and role model for future entomologists."


The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has nearly 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, and hobbyists. For more information, visit

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