Happy Sunday − and welcome to the best of The Conversation. Here are a few of our recently published stories:

A hallmark of a Conversation story is that it appeals to our readers' deep sense of curiosity about the world. Many of our most-read stories of all time fit this mold, such as why you shouldn’t kill spiders (5.7 million reads and counting) and whether the five-second food “rule” is fact or fiction (1.8 million).

That’s why our Curious Kids series, skillfully overseen by senior science and tech editor Maggie Villiger, has been such a hit with readers. Curious Kids invites children to ask questions about anything from whether space ever ends to why poop is brown, and we find genuine experts to answer them. This week, one of our top reader picks was one such Curious Kids article. Joey, a 10-year-old from Wausau, Wisconsin, wondered why flies seem to have a special radar for stinky garbage dumpsters. Christine Picard, a biologist who studies blow flies at Indiana University, answered Joey’s question while diving into many other things you probably wanted to know about flies but were too timid to ask.

If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskidsus@theconversation.com.

Bryan Keogh

Managing Editor

Readers' picks

The blow fly’s antenna is a specialized organ that helps the fly detect food quicker than its competitors. heckepics/iStock via Getty Images

How do flies find every stinky garbage dumpster? A biologist explains their sensory superpower

Christine Picard, Indiana University

Flies often beat out competitors for food because of their specialized sensing organs called antennae.

Editors' picks

Tech leaders like Alphabet CEO Sundar Picha and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, seen here entering the White House, are just one piece of the AI regulation puzzle. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Experts alone can’t handle AI – social scientists explain why the public needs a seat at the table

Dietram A. Scheufele, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dominique Brossard, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Todd Newman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Industry leaders, scientists and policymakers may see AI’s technical potential, but societies have trouble adapting to revolutionary advances without broad public participation.

News Quiz 🧠

  • The Conversation U.S. weekly news quiz

    Test your knowledge with a weekly quiz drawn from some of our favorite stories. Questions this week on the IRS, "the Mecca", Alabama and Mitch McConnell.

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