Seems weird: Most threads are questions, not discussions...

  • Thread starter ellipsis
  • Start date
  • #26
f95toli
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,057
556
I think the kind of discussion Digitalism seems to have in mind are rare even in academia. Even at a typical conference I mostly end up talking "shop" with people I already know and who work on more or less exactly the same thing as me. When talking to other people we mostly discuss either very generic physics (i.e. if there has been some important discovery) or we talk about funding or simply gossip (who has moved where) etc.
Hence, I agree with what was said above: interdisciplinary research is difficult and everyone involved typically has to spend quite a lot of time reading and asking questions before you reach a point where it actually gets useful. Alternatively, if the goals are clear you can just divide up the work and let everyone get on with their own specialty.

Modern science is highly specialized and the kind of discussions and collaborations you read about in books about e.g. the early days of atomic and quantum physics (back when it was actually possible for someone to actually keep up with everything that happened in a field) simply do not happen anymore. .
 
  • #27
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,131
2,581
...
Modern science is highly specialized and the kind of discussions and collaborations you read about in books about e.g. the early days of atomic and quantum physics (back when it was actually possible for someone to actually keep up with everything that happened in a field) simply do not happen anymore. .
I just learned, over the last 16 hours, that "modern science" specialization goes back almost 80 years! [ref, PF]

[Otto] Hahn[nuclear chemist], who did not inform the physicists in his Institute, described the results exclusively in a letter to [Lise] Meitner[physicist] [circa 1938]

Fascinating story.
 
  • Like
Likes Drakkith
  • #29
1,522
624
I've seen a lot of discussion. I see mostly questions because that's where people get stuck, I know a lot about relativity and quantum mechanics, but I'm no physicist. I like to think about how things work and I often think myself into a seeming paradox. I ask a specific question, which usually has a definite answer, so I would expect a Q/A format to that thread.

Original ideas tend to be discussions, the hard science forums tend not to have very many ideas. The physicists who understand physics well enough to come up with their own breakthrough ideas would probably prefer to discuss them with other scientists in a round table discussion than post on a forum.

Discussions on news are very common and can be wildly speculative. There is a thread right now about a weird star that seems to have something big orbiting it that's been a very lively discussion. Even ideas that are normally reserved for crackpots (like alien megastructures) have to be at least considered in a discussion like that and they have been.

I think if you're mostly seeing question/answer style, you aren't looking hard enough. My favorite forum on here is the Sci Fi writers forum. It forces me to really think outside of the box and consider a wide variety of variables, but within the realm of reality.
 

Related Threads on Seems weird: Most threads are questions, not discussions...

  • Last Post
2
Replies
49
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
13K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
66
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
19
Views
12K
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
1K
Top