Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mark Moffett @Google Talks Interview

Mark Moffett, author of Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions, gives a short talk for @Google Talks a series devoted to just interviewing people. I'm not sure why Mark Moffette's book is rated 5 stars, as I found it a little much to read. He talks more about his experiences as a National Geographic photographer as he traveled the world photographing really interesting ants. The issue though is I don't think this reads well as a book but it works great in interviews and he's become something of the mascot of Myrmecology over the past few years.


  1. I guess that you must be right about Mark becoming a mascot of myrmecology but just the thought of it makes me cringe. As far as I can tell, Mark's career is more about promoting himself and selling stories. The true facts get smoothed over, a real lot, to favor the telling of each tale.

    I know more than a few "popular" science writers of this ilk but I guess the larger mass audience is more interested in being entertained than learning about what science has to teach us about ants, or insects, or biology. I'm not saying that some people don't care about such things but not the mass audience that Mark seems to try to aim his work at.

  2. I'm seeing less and less of Edward O. Wilson. Mark seems to be charismatically filling the void. He's becoming a regular guest on the Colbert Report and I see him in more and more interviews all over the internet. It's not surprising that he's a photographer for National Geographic. A theme with them, as with Mark, seems to be only knowing a few good stories on a given topic for each part of the world.

    I had an idea for a TV show or web-series called Taxonomists on TV. Each show we'd pick a given location of the world and go in detail about what's there as sort of a follow up to assorted documentaries that focus only on the poster species. You'd think South America were only populated by Army and Leaf Cutter Ants.