17

In my opinion, yes, epidemiology can be on-topic because epidemiology has an interdisciplinary relationship with biology. Existing tags as a mark for what is on-topic can sometimes be misleading, but the presence and use of epidemiology suggests that at minimum some epidemiology questions are appropriate. The sentence in the on topic page that applies most ...


10

I agree entirely. Oftentimes questions come from not understanding the material entirely, which often is related to faulty presumptions. The whole point of this site is to help people learn, and if someone asks a question with a faulty presumption, I think the correct thing to do would be to answer the question while addressing the faulty presumption so as ...


10

I agree that there are many borderline cases (and cases where StackOverflow is more suitable), but I'm leaning towards being as inclusive as possible, mainly from the perspective of treating experimental, computational, lab and field approaches in the same way. If we allow Qs on microscopy, lab techniques, MRI (and similar apparatus), sequencing etc that ...


9

To me, they can be on-topic, but questions would have to be relatively specific and closely connected to specific biological concepts or problems encountered when teaching biology in particular. For instance, I think that your first linked post is far too broad, and I cannot see how a similar question on biology would make much sense. Answers would probably ...


9

Such questions are off-topic here because they are not really about biology. Such questions may be asked in History of Science and Mathematics SE.


8

I think this is a good idea and would support it. Such questions would be more suitable on a medicine/health site. As you say, questions that ask for mechanisms on e.g. how something will affect the body would still be on topic, if correctly phrased. I find both your objections valid, even if the second one is a bit more problematic. Simplisitic/naive ...


7

I'd like to revisit this subject since it's been a while since this discussion was posted and we have both grown and received quite a few questions on this topic. I feel very strongly that creationism and ID questions should be allowed, as DVK says, as long as they are good questions in the SE sense. We need to remember that there are still parts of the ...


7

This is my take on what bioinformatics (or in general any computational) questions should have in order to be on-topic. There should be a clear biological objective: One can ask how to run BLAST to identify homologs but not how to install BLAST (or any other technical specification and bugs). For bugs and technical support one should contact the developer. ...


7

Programming and bioinformatics can be separated... sometimes... Could it be that there is a clear difference between programming and bioinformatic questions? Generally there are questions that I feel focus on the programmatic access to biological resources side (off topic) and those that are rooted in the theory of biology in computation. As pointed out by ...


7

I made a meta post about non-biological questions featuring biological things being of topic, which I think is of relevance here. ALife questions are on topic if, and only if, they focus on the biological aspects. For example, the question "If evolution is not about improvement why is there so much improvement?" is/was a biological question. Darwin had the ...


7

I strongly disagree that this question is off-topic here. At least the way I'm reading your question, you're asking about transamination in biological systems, which is certainly about biology. You might want to clarify that point, just to make sure. Biochemistry is a part of Biology and is fully on-topic here. I've seen some previous cases where there was ...


6

This is one of those "off topic" areas which is (mostly) regulated across the network. Just like "big list" questions are not accepted anywhere with a few notable exceptions, so are "shopping recommendation" questions not accepted by default, based on Jeff's blog post, with some sites explicitly allowing them. But the network has evolved since then, and ...


6

Questions where all we can do is guess are problematic, and generally should be closed. Questions of the type "what do my notes on this lecture mean" are such questions, there is a lot of uncertainly introduced from the lecturer and the student trying to understand and writing down. Additionally such questions are also not useful to anyone except the asker. ...


6

Right now, species-identification questions are on-topic. At Gardening & Landscaping beta, we welcome plant, plant-disease, plant-pest, and garden fungus identification questions, but not just any animals or organisms. Here are three previous posts on this meta about species-identification: Species Identification Questions Is it on-topic to ask for the ...


6

Recommendation questions are generally problematic on SE sites, but we haven't actually ruled them off-topic on this site. I would recommend to formulate it a bit differently, and not simply ask for a tool but for a way to solve your problem. Questions that are written as tool recommendations encourage very short answers that are not much more than a link ...


5

No, don't close them as homework. Here is a similar (not identical) discussion from pets.se: Should I be creating questions and answers for topics easily found when googled? In the answer, it was noted that on a site like Stack Overflow, general reference questions are discouraged as general knowledge, but on other sites, it's good to have a basic, ...


5

We should not keep questions with so little backup (like one man's claim). They are good questions, but would be a far better fit for Skeptics.se. When someone has actual evidence of a molecule, and wants the name, that's different. So, basically, closing was the right thing to do, but I personally would have flagged them for migration to Skeptics as well, ...


5

As stated above, I think we can clearly state that personal medical questions of any nature are off topic and liability. The line that I think should be drawn, is whether or not the question is asking for a preferred course of treatment or likely prognosis. Some examples: [Course of treatment; C] A person has X, Y, Z symptoms (or known disease), what ...


5

I agree with KAM and J. Aidley for a particular reason. If someone is coming to the site for the first time, especially someone with something to contribute, the perception that this is yet another forum for a meaningless debate might discourage participation. Tolerance for people who appear with 1 point to their name and post ID rhetoric disguised as ...


5

This question asks for medical advice, which is off-topic for Biology and all SE sites. Additionally, it involves the use of illegal drugs, which we can't comment on for obvious reasons. If you or a friend is having pain after surgery, see the surgeon or your primary care doctor.


5

I think some of the questions could be asked here at BioSE in a meaningful way, if it is done cautiously and focusing on the biological connections. For instance, I could see versions of #2 being relevant and biologically interesting. Answers there could e.g. use comparative methods to look at biological/evolutionary consequences of incest and cannibalism, ...


5

Sure, Fermi questions are welcome. It's Fermi answers we should all be cautious about. The way I see it, many laypeople tend to look for answers without considering or checking the method critically, so Fermi answers tend to be easy ways to spread misinformation. It's important to explain the how one reaches the answer to a Fermi question. Without that ...


5

I think some of this might be confusion due to a change in how SE displays the reasons questions are closed. I think they made this change to simplify things and because they got feedback that the old wording was unfriendly; I don't agree but this isn't the place to rehash that. The area I am talking about looks like this: You might only be seeing the first ...


4

There is a health SE in area 51 that is currently in the commitment phase. Presently, it needs 68 more people to commit before it goes into to private beta. http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/66048/health Health.SE is now in public beta. Also, a medical Area 51 proposal was just closed. However, it can be restarted if you are interested and want to ...


4

From the biology SE tour page Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about biology." And Focus on questions ...


4

It's permitted only in the sense that you won't get banned. But don't do it, it even if the question is on-topic on both or all sites. See Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site? which is part of the FAQ, so pretty official. People who take the time to answer your question might ...


4

For those want to identify a specimen, yet could not find out a guideline. There are a lots of interesting questions on identify X. But that often have a deficit of proper information. However I have tried to made one sample, using common sense. In General: Try to photograph describe useful characteristics, such as possible good fingerprints. Though it ...


4

If there are no scientific findings available that address the concern(s) of an OP, is it okay to then provide nothing but opinion based answers? I personally have no problem with people providing opinion-based answers. In this community, their quality is supposed to be judged by voting (there are inherent problems with this too, but that's the system). You ...


4

Other resources: In addition to finding a definition for "biological concept" be sure to check other relevant help topics: "Don't Ask" and "How to Ask" including: You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face and Make it relevant to others The meta of meta: The opinion of one user about what should ...


4

From the on-topic help page: Biology Stack Exchange is for people studying biology at any level. Questions are from students, academics and active researchers in biology and closely related fields We tend more towards "Expert answers to your questions" (note also that this is StackExchange boilerplate, not something written specifically for this site) ...


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