New opportunity for kids to quiz scientists
Press release issued: 7 February 2007
Why do humans have large, pointy noses when chimps and gorillas have hardly any nose at all? Questions like this can now be answered on a new web site designed to give kids direct access to scientists who can provide the answers.
Questions like this can now be answered on a new web site called Ask a Biologist, which is designed to give kids direct access to scientists who can provide the answers.
A former student from the University of Bristol, Dr David Hone, has assembled a team of over 60 professional scientists from around the world to answer questions put to them on the site.
Many of the scientists are from Bristol University and include people like Dr Alice Roberts who presents the BBC TV series Don’t die young and is co-presenter of the Coast series.
“We have everyone from professors in the UK, France and the US, to researchers from Norway and Australia, and PhD students from Japan, Ireland and Canada, all ready to answer questions on any aspect of biology or palaeontology,” says Hone.
“We’ve already had some really tough questions!” said contributor Dr Neil Gostling, a palaeontologist who works in the department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol.
The site offers children a chance to interact with scientists of all ages and disciplines and to learn more about how science works. It also provides a tool for teachers to encourage talented and enthusiastic children.
It includes an archive of old questions and answers, short essays on how to become a biologist and carry out research, mini biographies of the scientists involved, and a raft of links to other good websites.
Dr Hone added “One of the biggest problems with the internet is that websites may be out of date or written by non-experts.
“Here you will get the answer straight from the horses mouth – people with access to the latest scientific knowledge”.
The site welcomes questions on any aspect of biology and palaeontology and is still actively recruiting new scientists to help answer the questions that are coming in.