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New Subforum for GD : Science and Technology News

  1. Jun 20, 2013 #1


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    As the majority of the forums are specialized and more geared toward answering questions pertaining to the forum topic, PF seems to lack a place for discussion of new and innovative technology and science that might appear in popular news sources. Of course, one can post to General Discussion (GD) but GD seems to be much more casual, and not really the place for such a thing.

    I would suggest a new sub-forum dedicated to discussions of advances in technology and science specifically from news sources and/or published articles.

    I bring the up as I came across the article :


    and did not know where I should really discuss it. Possible in General Engineering? Optics? General Physics?

    I found said article on Reddit to be honest, and while the comments can be informative, I'd feel it more beneficial to have discussions with fellow physicists, scientists and engineers (as well as those PFers who have a above and beyond interest in these fields) rather than a general population.

    If this has been tried, or exists then nevermind! :)

    Otherwise, what does everyone think?

    (Basically articles that belong on "This Week In Science" infographics. )
    [1] [2]

    This also allows for progress in the fields to be shared, thus sort of weeding out the lesser advances and bringing to the public(us PFers) the cream of the crop of whats going on each week in science/tech.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2013 #2
    It's worth considering. Thanks for the suggestion! Anyone else support this?
  4. Jun 20, 2013 #3


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    Technology already has a forum. If it's about hard science, it really should go in the proper forum where people that understand the topic will be able to properly address the questions.

    If it's just a news blurb, it can go into Current Events, and then moved to the proper forum if the discussion becomes technical.

    In other words, it would be against our guidelines to remove scientifically accurate information from discussions.
  5. Jun 20, 2013 #4


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    I have a feeling it may become a crackpot magnet
  6. Jun 20, 2013 #5
    I like the idea. It might be a useful addition to the ex-P&WA forum. It might be worth trying out.

    A +1 from me!
  7. Jun 20, 2013 #6
    I'm interested in the concept because there are a lot of interesting discoveries on a daily basis that get very little to no discussion here. Sometimes I try and post a new item and I'm not sure what forum to post it in and often it seems misplaced in relation to the other threads. Often it's difficult to know if it's already been posted or where a news item might be posted. Having them all in one area would make things much easier.
  8. Jun 20, 2013 #7
    I agree. I think we should at least try it.
  9. Jun 21, 2013 #8


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    What I don't like about the idea is that it can end with an empty, dead forum. I prefer creating subforums to channel existing traffic, not in anticipation that the traffic will miraculously appear.
  10. Jun 21, 2013 #9


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    If it is related to physics, we already have a thread where people can post the paper that is New and Noteworthy.

    The problem here is that I don't see why it has to be in a separate forum to itself. If it is news about technology, then it should be discussed in the Technology forum. If it is the Higgs discovery, it should be discussed in the High Energy Physics forum. If it is new vaccine for HIV, it should be in the Medical Sciences forum, etc.. etc. I can easily see the same topic being posted in the existing forum AND in this suggested forum by different people.

  11. Jun 21, 2013 #10


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    It was just a thought. I have interest in almost every topic on PF, I just found it disadvantageous that most sub-forums are composed of about 90% questions, 10% news/articles that are under discussion (like HEP) and some are the other way around (BSM Physics).

    Actually, I've seen forums where you can select an icon to specify what type of post you're creating (newspaper = news, question mark = question, cat = feline discussion, etc).

    I'm not out to make more work (moderators, etc), just was thinking about the idea. I could see the problem with not enough traffic as well, though if the titles were required to be the title of the article as well, PF's SEO is pretty powerful and shows up in google results all the time. You'd probably get a lot of people reading what PFers have to say on it, and possibly making accounts (could be REALLY REALLY bad).
  12. Jun 21, 2013 #11


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    Wouldn't the new "current events" forum work for this? The purpose is to post current news and articles. I don't know how what you are proposing is different from that forum's purpose. Of course we have a policy of moving posts which become a technical discussion of the topic to the proper forum for discussion and moderation. People quite often post in GD when they are not sure where to post and moderators constantly move them to the correct forum. Perhaps what you are suggesting is that the posts not be moved to the proper discussion forum, but this means that they will risk becoming unmoderated speculation. It would be unfair to ask that the mentors are all also required to moderate a hodgepodge forum.

    I understand what you are saying, but the mess it will create goes against our rules.

    I would encourage people to start posting items of interest in the new Current Events forum and let's see how that works.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
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