To simultaneously reduce inequality, limit environmental impact of human activities and secure resilient livelihoods, the scientific research behind SDGs needs to consider not only the ecological integrity of life-supporting systems, but also the underlying socioeconomic stressors that affect their vulnerability in a changing world. Because insects and other invertebrates have profound and well-identified influences on many ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and biological control) and SDGs (e.g. crop pest and disease vectors), insect research and development have a great potential to address current global challenges.
This special issue, from Current Opinion in Insect Science, makes a case for expanding the breadth of disciplines that are directly involved in new transdisciplinary entomological research and making fundamental changes in the way researchers work with decision makers to co-create knowledge that will address pressing development problems. In other words, insect science needs to promote a sustainability science approach.
The current scale, pace, and practice of science are not keeping up with the changes in Earth and human conditions. The lack of a sustainability science approach is partly the reason why we have hard times fixing global issues such as the COVID-19 or locust swarms. It is more than ever pressing to incorporate SDGs into science to solve some of today’s global socio-environmental challenges. The crises, regardless of whether they concern devastating locust swarms or pandemics, demand it.