My youngest child is learning to read with much frustration and reluctance. The allure of a bright sunny afternoon over homework is almost always too much for her active nature to resist, especially when the words on the page in front of her are yet to make any sense. As I try to read a scientific research paper for our Lab’s upcoming journal club, I feel a lot more sympathy for her cause.
This week’s paper is a well-written review article, by far not the hardest paper we have chosen for journal club, but the topic isn’t one I am particularly passionate about. (Perhaps my daughter holds an equal amount of disinterest in her current reader, ‘How I drew a bunny’?) For previous journal clubs, the papers often contain huge amounts of field specific jargon and acronyms; leaving me with the feeling I’m staring at words on a page that hold no meaning.
When the words don’t make sense and reading feels like a chore, the advice of my daughter’s reception teacher seem equally relevant to scientific articles. If all else fails try to understand the story from the pictures and leave deciphering the words until later.