Today this post on math.stackexchange was trending on the internet and Hacker News.
I was enjoying this discussion about how people learn math, on a site about math, which has no clear answer. its about pedagogy and psychology of education, but only tangentially about math. Not only does it have lots of votes and 'favorites' its also widely read about the public.
I really feel like such a question would be closed quickly on this site. The moderators are always citing the guidelines as if they have no choice in the matter or as if they were only one reasonable way to read them. But the site is only slowly starting to get more members and the new members seem to be discouraged more readily than else where.
Why the educational mission of biology can't be included in a site about biology is really beyond me. Its the public who pays for most of the work, and its the public who, if not informed about biology may cause many of the animals on earth to disappear.
Why can't the policy be more accommodating to naive questions and the general attitude be to help bring questions into acceptable form as opposed to just closing them or down/outvoting them?
Examples of questions closed:
"This will result in a discussion" https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/4977/why-genetics-rd-advances-so-slowly
"no clear biological scope" - the diffusion of oxygen in air vs water has no biological scope - that's uncharitable to say the least and fairly overreaching Is it true that oxygen has a diffusion rate in air 10,000 times greater than in water?
but my point is, this site does not suffer fools, whereas more successful stackexchange sites are more welcoming to beginners and people who just want to learn something. not sure what advantages, if any goes along with that.