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British schoolchildren publish bee study in peer-reviewed journal

By John Published: December 22, 2010

How would you like to tape this on the refridgerator door?

From Wired Science:

A group of British schoolchildren may be the youngest scientists ever to have their work published in a peer-reviewed journal. In a new paper in Biology Letters, 25 8- to 10-year-old children from Blackawton Primary School report that buff-tailed bumblebees can learn to recognize nourishing flowers based on colors and patterns.

The paper is written in the children's voices and includes figures drawn by hand with colored pencils.
Getting the paper published was a struggle as well. In particular, several journals got stuck on the fact that the paper doesn't cite any references. Lotto says they left the references out because the historical context wasn't what inspired the kids, anyway.

''That wasn't the basis for doing the experiment, it was what was interesting to them. That's the driver of any quality science study,'' Lotto said. ''That's what I tell my PhD students: Don't do any reading. Figure out why you wake up in the morning, what you're passionate about, and then read the literature. But don't figure out what's interesting based on what other people say.''



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