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Can we understand an insect society, and why should we care?

More 'Can we understand an insect society, and why should we care?'

Leopoldina-INSA Lecture

Date: Monday, 5 December 2016
Time: 17:00 to 20:00
Location: Vortragssaal der Leopoldina, Jägerberg 1, 06108 Halle (Saale)

Many insects such as ants, bees and wasps organize themselves into societies with sophisticated organization, communication and division of labour, paralleling and sometimes surpassing our own societies. We therefore have a natural curiosity to understand how these tiny insects can achieve such feats of social organization. What are the rules that govern their lives and how does a bee or a wasp know what to do when?

In his talk, Prof. Dr. Raghavendra Gadagkar (member of the Leopoldina) will illustrate the efforts of his research group to understand the workings of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata in peninsular India. His goal will not merely be to convey the product of his research but even more to describe the process of his science, his methodology and the logic that drives his experiments. He will reflect on what we can learn from insect societies and how understanding insect societies helps us to reflect on how and why we live our lives the way we do and thus to better understand ourselves.

Prof. Dr. Raghavendra Gadagkar is president of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). Leopoldina and INSA have cooperated closely over many years, e.g. by jointly organizing scientific conferences in India and Germany. Prof. Gadagkar’s talk is part of the Leopoldina-INSA lecture series, in which high-ranking members of both academies present their work to the general public in order to promote the visibility of Indian and German science.

Picture: Souvik Mandalw

Further Information and Registration

The lecture will be held in English. Participation is open to anyone interested and free of charge.



Dr. Ruth Narmann
Deputy Head International Relations Department
Fon: 0345 - 47 239 - 835
E-Mail: ruth.narmann@leopoldina.org