Professor Martha Weiss was invited to host a TEDx talk to discuss the amazing transformation from a fertilized egg to a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. Why is this so invigorating? The process of metamorphosis proves that it is not too late to change. One self-sufficient insect undergoes a complete transformation into a second self-sufficient insect. Her talk “Insect Metamorphosis: Success through Reinvention” explores the life cycle of the caterpillar and the butterfly by taking a further look into the goals and behavior in each stage. The theme of the day-long TEDx event was 'On Metamorphosis' -- and as the only biologist in the line-up, I chose to talk about why the process of metamorphosis serves as such a potent metaphor for people. I point out that metamorphic insects develop complexity not once but twice: first, a fertilized egg yields a caterpillar, and then a second change transforms one full-sized, self-sufficient organism into another. I suggest that the metamorphic life cycle becomes a powerful metaphor in that it can represent a major transition, a second chance, or a message that it's not too late to change!
Interested in learning more about metamorphosis and what gets lost in the process? Check out the TEDx talk here.