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Do your kids ever ask you questions that you just can’t answer?

Or perhaps questions that you’d like to answer just a little more scientifically? It happens to me all the time. For example, this one:

“Why do I have to go to bed?”

Sometimes I want to answer, “Because I say so – and because I want to go to bed sometime before Friday!”

But a great new initiative from the Frontiers group might just have the answers you need. The Frontiers group publishes open-access journals across a whole range of topics. This is terrific, but let’s be honest: primary research articles are not always the easiest to read.

Enter Frontiers in Neuroscience for Young Minds.

Check out their great article titled “Why Sleep?”, which provides several great answers to my sons’ question.

Frontiers for Young Minds is a scientific journal full of easily digestible articles on research in neuroscience. Even better, young people from ages 8 to 18 are included in the review of articles. This is a win-win situation that brings kids into the world of scientific research while offering active scientists a platform for reaching out to new readers.

All articles in Frontiers for Young Minds are reviewed and approved for publication by young people mentored by established neuroscientists. The revised manuscripts are then reviewed by one of the adult Associate Editors of Frontiers in Neuroscience for Young Minds.

As a scientist, one thing I love about these articles is that they are based on real research.

Primary research articles are cited so that inquiring minds (maybe you or even your older children) can go and look them up for more information. You don’t have to, but you can.

I love that!

One of my pet peeves with science communications is that they rarely link to original publications.

So the next time your kid asks, “Why can’t I play video games 12 hours a day? What does it do to my brain?”

You might just have the answer.




Deborah M. Buehler is an ecologist, an editor and a writer in Toronto. She usually writes about reconnecting with nature in the city with her kids. Follow her on Twitter and catch up on all her Wild City posts here.


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