Are you a member of a parenting group on Facebook – or elsewhere online?
Has your group got questions about parenting? Or are you simply fed up with all the unsolicited advice we get as parents and wish you knew how to find evidence-based answers to the stuff that matters to you? If so, you need Parenting Science Gang!
What is Parenting Science Gang?
Parenting Science Gang is about uncovering questions that matter to parents, but which science isn’t answering for us.
Four Facebook communities have taken part so far. Each group choses a parenting question to investigate, and the PSG project team guides the group members though a process that leads, ultimately, to each group designing and carrying out their own scientific experiment.
It’s a lot of fun and a novel approach, bringing the public, scientists and experts together to collaborate via social media, with the parents in the driving seat – this is a user-led project, the direction the group takes is completely up to the participants.
Who can join in?
We’re recruiting for up to eight more groups for 2017/18, would you like to get involved with this unique project?
We’re looking for large online communities of parents brought together by a common interest or shared identity.
This project is for everyone! You don’t need a science background – simply curiosity and a willingness to get involved!
How can I find out more?
Tempted? What to know more? See our detailed info on the project and how to apply:
What’s it like taking part?
Here’s what some of this year’s participants had to say:
PSG has given me more confidence in parenting: I’ve read studies that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise, considered new approaches, and I feel empowered to refute or question statements that don’t seem to come with a strong evidence base.
I’ve loved being involved, helping to guide the experiment to something that matters to me. The facebook group feels like a whole new template for science: meetings that fit in around daily life; organisers who tap into the extreme intellect and passion of a group of people who struggle to make themselves heard in more traditional academia. This is the ultimate flexible work scheme.
Both in terms of the science PSG does and the way it does it, I really feel like I’m at the start of something important here.
Life changing, quite literally. I decided to go back to uni and study neuroscience (no previous science background since school). Its been amazing to help design a study around something I genuinely would like to find out. Speaking with scientists and professionals with the chance to ask them questions has been an amazing opportunity. Thankyou PSG!!
I’ve loved being involved with PSG – I’ve found out a tonne of stuff I wanted to know through the amazing opportunities to chat with experts in various fields, and another few tonnes of stuff I didn’t even realise I wanted to know!
It’s exciting to feel part of something which might find evidence based answers to questions I’m interested in and which might actually be scientifically useful and interesting to others too!
Taking a little bit of time to get more information about our choices for our children
It gives me a chance to flex the science muscles that I haven’t exercised since leaving education.
I come to learn, to be educated and to be able to ask questions that I don’t have the academic background to work out, without being ridiculed or made to feel silly. Everyone has valuable skills and you never know when your random background skills may hold the answer to a question.
Have this been done before?
Yes, there are already four groups involved, also the project builds on the approach piloted with Nappy Science Gang which, among other successes, induced the NHS to change their guidelines on washing baby items. Read project director Sophia Collins’s Guardian article.
The question your group asks will be unique to you, however.
Check out our detailed info on the project and how to apply.