Ont. girl who was teased for love of bugs gets name in science journal
Sophia Spencer. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / HO-Nicole Spencer)
Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, September 22, 2017 11:56AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 22, 2017 11:57AM EDT
Sophia Spencer hated it when classmates taunted her for her love of insects, but seeing them kill her pet grasshoppers for fun was even worse.
Her first-grade peers couldn't understand what she found so fascinating about bugs of all sorts or why she'd devote spare time to catching them, reading about them, and generally carrying on like a budding entomologist.
As Sophia listened to schoolyard jeers that called her weird, or was forced to watch as her much-loved bugs were taken from her hands and stepped on for sport, she felt her confidence begin to wane.
Her mother, fearing her child would lose her independent streak, reached out to a national organization of insect researchers in search of a mentor for her daughter. Hundreds of entomologists responded, and now Sophia's name appears alongside one of them in an international publication devoted to the study of insects.
The story, held up for scientists as an example of social-media savvy used for the advancement of the profession, is a form of validation for the eight-year-old co-author.