AIHA Connect 2024 Opening Session Encourages ‘Peculiar Thinking’

AIHA Connect 2024 Opening Session Encourages ‘Peculiar Thinking’

Dr. Samuel Ramsey shared his story of overcoming adversity with nontraditional approaches.

The AIHA Connect 2024 conference — the annual event hosted by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and formerly known as the AIHce EXP — kicked off on Monday, May 20, 2024, with an opening session that not only addressed a key issue but also celebrated the power of diversity and unconventional thinking in science.

Dr. Samuel Ramsey, a self-described “friendly neighborhood entomologist,” led the presentation, titled “The Power of Peculiar Thinking: Problem-Solving Through Creativity and Ingenuity.” Dr. Ramsey shared how he overcame stereotypes to redefine the image of a scientist by refusing to conform and embracing what makes him different.

In his presentation, Dr. Ramsey encouraged attendees to pursue the ideas others might deem “too crazy” because they can lead to solutions that conventional thinking might miss. Just as this approach has worked in his own field, Dr. Ramsey believes it serves as a model across industries. As he says, “being peculiar is the key to being brilliant.”

As one of the few African-Americans with a Ph.D. in entomology, Dr. Ramsey has continually followed his own path, and his breakthrough in bee research hopes to reverse a devastating pandemic in bee populations. Moreover, his work as founder of the Ramsey Research Foundation is a testament to his problem-solving skills.

Dr. Ramsey’s impact extends beyond the University of Colorado Boulder — where he is an endowed assistant professor — to include appearances on NPR, CNN, CBS Mornings, and National Geographic. Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, he also uses his YouTube channel to champion equal opportunities in the STEM field.

With AIHA Connect 2024 continuing through May 22, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Ramsey’s session has set a tone of innovation and authenticity. As such, he has reminded attendees the future of occupational health and safety may very well depend on our willingness to embrace peculiar thinking and the diverse voices that bring it forth.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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