Wikipedia:WikiProject Science/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Do we need a "History" section in scientific articles ?[edit]

Quite a few scientific articles contain a history section. I don't know if I'm the only one, but I tend to skip them when reading an article. I prefer to have the historic reference embedded in the text: it makes the reading more enjoyable. What do you think ? Pcarbonn 20:08, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I understand what you are saying, I usually skip the history as well. But I think that it is important to segment things in an organized manner, so people can easily find things etc... is there a better way? -Adenosine- 03:24, Feb 21, 2005 (UTC)

We do not need a History section in every scientific article. In some cases, a brief (or not so brief) history section could be useful to explain standard words, definitions, or standards that would be best understood in a historical context. However, in most cases, a history section is not needed, although there might be some interesting history involved in some cases. It should not be made to be a required part of every article on science just as a matter of routine.
H Padleckas 11:18, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

History and ordering issues[edit]

Documenting the history of a scientific concept is certainly quite valuable, and eventually, the encyclopedia should and no doubt will grow to do that for pretty much everything. Some people will be coming to the article looking to find out who forumlated a particular theory or who discovered a particular somethingorother. Most people will probably be trying to understand the concept or phenomenon itself. Some of them may be technical folk, but many will be members of the general public. Which is why it's good to put the part of the article accessible to the general public first - otherwise, they'll immediately be either confused or bored, and most likely stop reading.

By the way, the introduction to Temperature does not do a good job of engaging the part of the public that doesn't really know much about it. It needs to start with an explanation that heat is related to the vibration of atoms, and move on from there. (The article certainly has lots of useful facts, though, yay.)

I fully agree that the Temperature article needs improvement. I have now clarified what we mean by "article in focus". Pcarbonn 14:41, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The dangers of presenting the history of a scientific concept come in when you start to talk about theories that we know are no longer true. It's important not to confuse the lay reader between the current theory and those known to be false or incomplete. Presenting the current theory as the logical conclusion to a train of improvements on pre-existing theories is often confusing to the novice and historically inaccurate. (I assume you've all read Thomas Kuhn's *Structure of Scientific Revolutions*.) Even diving into the genesis of the most-recent theory can be a little misleading because often there have been many refinements since the original discovery. For example, it took hundreds of years to work out all the implications of Newton's laws, and the notation and vocabulary has changed a lot over that time.

I fully agree that the history of science is not made of a continuous sequence of logical improvements, and we have to avoid giving that impression. I recommend instead to relate the theory/experiment/... to previous and subsequent ones so that the reader understand its significance and limitations. Pcarbonn 14:41, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

On the other hand, presenting the history of a simple scientific instrument, like a barometer, might be good to do up front. Primitive versions of instruments are often simpler and can be used to more clearly show how they work.

Reference articles on scientific topics might best leave history to separate articles altogether. Biographies also require a completely different treatment.

So it seems to me that if we are going to define standardized formats for articles, several different layouts are needed, for different types of article. And I guess this project only focuses on archetypes applicable across all the sciences, not specific things like how to do an article on a particular species or element or fundamental particle.

As for coming up with a standardized format for theories, I like the order in Quantum mechanics. Public-friendly explanation first, followed by applications (the next-most interesting section to the lay public, most likely). The public-friendly explanation should include things like relationships to other theories, limitations, and whether or not the theory is known to be incomplete (like Newton's laws, QM or relativity). Brief mention might be made of the primary contributors to the theory and *contemporary* competing schools of thought, if any. After that, I would put the full-blown technical information, followed by a proper history which discusses any previous, defunct theories, and fuller coverage of how the modern theory came to be. For longer pieces, I recommend separating the history section into a separate article. This would also help categorize articles more cleanly, considering they'll be the "science" category hierarchy, the "history" hierarchy, the "French science of the 1800s" category, etc.

Please update the proposed structure directly in the article as you see fit.Pcarbonn 14:41, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

--Beland 05:21, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

IUPAC spelling policy[edit]

I would like to propose that using the IUPAC standard names become policy on science related articles. There seems to be a consensus in preference to them, as I have been changing archaic spellings for some time with no objections.

The IUPAC currently recommends:

  • Aluminium instead of aluminum
  • Caesium instead of cesium
  • Sulfur instead of sulphur

Darrien 05:12, 2004 Jul 20 (UTC)



Darrien 05:12, 2004 Jul 20 (UTC)

No objections here. In Australia, the 'proper' spelling is sulphur, but even textbooks don't use that much any more - sulfur is much more common. - Mark 07:40, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Science might be a better place to propose this, and if it is accepted, a note should be made under the spelling spection of the Wikipedia:Manual of Style. Angela. 21:43, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC) [was originally at Wikipedia talk:Policies and guidelines]
"Caesium" and "aluminium" look horribly wrong to my American eyes, but who can argue with standardization. My only request would be that any major alternative spellings be listed on the respective article pages, to eliminate any confusion that these weird new things aren't actually the good old-fashioned elements we know and love. -- Beland 03:06, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Aluminum is spelled ALUMINUM in the United States, especially in common literature and in what scientific literature I've read. I suspect some Britisher or maybe Australian made up that IUPAC rule. Although I've seen "caesium" a couple of times before in my life, I have mostly seen it spelled CESIUM in the United States. Again some Britisher probably.
H Padleckas 11:37, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm for it. No objections - do it. -Vsmith 20:45, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Done. Comments? Next: Manual of style -- maybe wait a bit for reactions here?? :) -Vsmith 21:25, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have proposed this at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style where ther has been considerable discussion about sulfur/sulphur. Please view my proposal and comment there. Thanks, Vsmith 22:48, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 15:24, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)) I strongly disagree with this and have restored the policy to chemistry only.

I understand that Mr Connolley disagrees and has very strong feelings on this, but the change made by him without discussion amounts to vandalism.

-Vsmith 15:56, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 16:02, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)) Accusations of vandalism are serious. Stop abusing the term if you want to be taken seriously. You inserted the disputed text on 10th oct whilst fully aware of the unresolved objections at Talk:Global warming. This was not straight of you. And its Dr Connolley to you, if you don't want to use my username or WMC.
OK, WMC, Leave it alone until discussion resolved then. It was proposed here back in July and discussed. The action here was not connected to the dispute in Global Warming. And changing an accepted standard in one group because you are arguing elsewhere without discussion here appears to me as vandalism.-Vsmith 16:25, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 16:57, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)) The polciy here is directly related to the GW discussion. Its exactly the same question: should the policy of using IUPAC spellings apply to all science or just chemistry? You were perfectly well aware of the lack of consensus on this issue when you inserted the change here - and then tried to use your change here as evidence over at the GW discussion. Until there is some consensus, the policy should stay as it was: which is to say, as it *is* over at the manual of style: IUPAC for chemistry only.

Isn't this just the US vs Rest-of-World issue with the English Language? Aluminum, Cesium, and Sulfur being the american spellings, which are simplifications of the original English latin-based spellings? Surely it is better to keep the latin/greek-based spellings, since these are where the words come from in the first place. -- 21:21, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Aluminum and Cesium are the American spellings - IUPAC does not recommend those. Sulfur is the American spelling, and that one is recommended. --Sambostock 01:51, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I moved your post to the end of the discussion rather than in the middle of Darrien's proposal. Also, it would be a good idea to read what you are responding to. It is not US vs anyone. Rather it is aligning with standards of an international organization - IUPAC. -Vsmith 22:26, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Question on "Proposed structure of articles"[edit]

Regarding, "the first part of article should be targeted to the general public, while the second part should be targeted to the scientifically inclined," and, "start with 2 or 3 paragraphs for the general public, using daily life examples", shouldn't the whole article be useful to the general public? Hyacinth 22:11, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I would think that some theoretical explanations could not be understood by the general public because of the mathematical concepts they are based on (differentials, for example). Yet, other people will be very interested to see those mathematical formulations. Pcarbonn 05:56, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Pcarbonn. IMO the standard should be "something for everybody", not "everything for everybody". The later would be a low standard, with the possible negative side-effect of driving away readers that might otherwise become usefull editors--Nabla 12:06, 2004 Aug 11 (UTC)
I agree too, I'd like to see articles progrssively technical as they go on so that people can stop reading at their own comfort levels, yet everyone get something out of the page. theresa knott 20:44, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Amen on that. see new thread below Quinobi 8 July 2005 17:01 (UTC)

Applying format to Brain[edit]

The proposed format doesn't really fit brain, and, I'm afraid, other biology articles very well. In general I agree with most of the proposals PCarbon put on the brain to-do list, but "Brains on Earth" is just awkward and inexact as a subheading. Can anyone think up a similar term that would be better? Some of the other subheadings would be a bit weak: "in everyday life" and "in industry" won't have a whole lot - maybe one should be changed to "in medicine." I'm posting this here rather than on the Brain:talk page since it will probably be applicable to other biology-related topics. Sayeth 20:40, Sep 3, 2004 (UTC)

It looks to me like the wrong format has been applied. The brain is more of a discovery than a concept. Actually, I think a new format designed specifically for biological entities would be appropriate. (Formats for e.g. chemical entities and medical conditions already exist.) There is no biology or anatomy WikiProject to punt to, so someone here should probably propose one. -- Beland 05:53, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Indeed, I was not very comfortable using the proposed format for the brain article, and we could probably face similar issues with heart, virus, ... So defining another format for biological entities would be fine with me. It should probably keep the 3 major sections: introduction, in practice, in theory. Pcarbonn 14:09, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have now updated the proposed structure and the to-do list for brain. Is it OK now ? Pcarbonn 11:06, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Much better! Thanks! Sayeth 14:15, Sep 6, 2004 (UTC)

What is a "scientific reference article"[edit]

I would think that we have already quite a few types of articles. I'm not sure what is left... Could someone give an example ? Pcarbonn 18:03, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Naming convention of sections should not be applied rigidly[edit]

I agree with the spirit/idea of having the basic practical information first and more technical later, but the names of these sections should be tailored to the specific article, as noted in the discussion on brain above. "Cells in theory/practice" just doesn't sound right for the cell (biology) article, because for the cell there is no simple distinction between "in practice" and "in theory", the real distinction should be between an overview and more technical detail. I am undergoing a major edit/revamp of the page right now. --Lexor|Talk 09:22, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I fully agree. I have used other section titles in the water article too. Pcarbonn 09:57, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Please stop mangling articles[edit]

A recent edit to mass pretty much mangled the article, inserting a bunch of bogus one-liner sections and a totally wrong section on mass-energy equivalence (which the originally article already dealt with correctly), for the sake of "conforming" to the structure of "what a science article should be". A similar thing was done a couple months back to quantum mechanics; that was reverted too. Please stop damaging perfectly good articles. -- CYD

While I agree that you have a point here, CYD, I think there are a lot of issues mixed together.
  • First, I'm sure Pcarbonn did not intend to "damage [a] perfectly good article". :-) However, AFAIK, the section on mass-energy equivalence (I'm guessing it's this line: " The mass of an assembly is the sum of the mass of its part: thus, mass measures the amount of matter contained in an object."; correct me if I'm wrong here.) is wrong, and it's good that you caught it.
Indeed, I want "mass" to be an excellent article, because it is a popular one. I guess that the issue is how best to get there, and whether amateurs like me are allowed to contribute (they are, see Wikipedia:Replies_to_common_objections#Amateurs).
I have read the quoted statement many times in physics book, and I don't understand how it would be wrong if we use mass to mean "rest mass" in a classical mechanics sense. However, I suggest that we move this specific discussion to the talk page of mass. Pcarbonn 06:54, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Regarding the correctness of that specific section, agreed it should be one the Talk:mass; but I think there are also issues about WikiProjectScience mixed up in here still. JesseW 07:13, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Second, you objected to "bogus one-liner sections"; I assume you meant the regoranizing of the ToC by adding the section "Overview" and moving some text from the intro to the section "Types of Mass". I must confess I don't see how the changes that Pcarbonn made helped fit the article into the form suggested by WikiProjectScience; Pcarbonn, could you clarify this?
"one-liner sections" : I believe that wikipedia policy has nothing against it. The way I see it (and I agree this is not public policy), one-liner sections are like stub articles, but within an article, and are a signal that more should be written to cover this topic. In my view, it is important to discuss the units of mass further, and how mass is not conserved when matter is annihilated (="behavior/property of mass"), hence the 2 new sections I have added. Now, I do not claim to be an expert like CYD, but we have to start somewhere...
The mass article falls in the category "scientific object / concept". The guideline is to have a section called "Types / classification of object". (we could also move the description of "rest" mass vs "relativistic mass" there, because it is an important one). I agree however that the structure does not have to be used rigidly: this section title only makes sense when we also add the section on "units" and "behavior". Pcarbonn 06:54, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying this. JesseW 07:13, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think the best way to prevent the mangleing of "perfectly good articles" is for people fixing articles to make it clear what's wrong with an article before fixing it. Then, in cases of "perfectly good articles", someone like you could explain why they are mistaken about the wrongness of the article, and we would be saved from the confusion of unexplained changes and angry reverts. I hope this helps to clarify things. JesseW 03:26, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Thanks JesseW for your facilitation of this discussion. I'll be happy to try "prior-discussion" next time. Indeed, I have checked again the be bold policy of wikipedia, and I understand that it should be used with sensitive articles (I had no idea that "mass" would be so sensitive...). Pcarbonn 06:54, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
You're welcome. As for sensitive, on the other side, if an article has reached "perfectly good article" status, it would probably be good to mention on the Talk page something like: "I don't think this article needs changes; if you do, please add some explanation prior to making your changes. Thanks. - User:J.Random.Editor" JesseW 07:13, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure this is a good idea. While we should be proud of the contributions we make to Wikipedia, we should always be ready to see someone come and bring good articles to a still higher level. Pcarbonn 19:55, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I quote:

Mass is now considered as one form of energy, i.e. mass can sometimes disappears into energy, and some energy can be converted to mass.

This is what I mean by a "totally wrong section on mass-energy equivalence". The article already points out the following:

Historically, the term "mass" was used for the quantity E/c². This was called the "relativistic mass", and m called the "rest mass". This terminology is now discouraged by physicists, because there is no need for two terms for the energy of a particle, and because it creates confusion when speaking of "massless" particles.

The issue is not one of whether amateurs are allowed to contribute to science articles; of course they are, but I should hope that they take the trouble to make sure the contributions are actually correct! -- CYD

I happen to believe that this statement is "perfectly good" and publishable, although it may not be perfectly phrased (remember, it's coming from an amateur, and amateur are allowed to edit). The statement is substantiated by the Einstein article, for example, which says: matter and energy are simply different forms of the same substance, and A simple calculation using the mass of the uranium nuclei and the masses of the products of nuclear fission reveals that large amounts of energy are released upon fission. But this discussion really does not belong here, so, let's move it to Talk:Mass. Pcarbonn 18:31, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Best way forward ?[edit]

After a few weeks of activity, and in view of the debate on the Mass article, I would appreciate some input on the best way forward. Here are some questions I have :

  • do we generally believe that the Target articles need significant improvements to make them interesting to all public ?
  • if yes, can a WikiProject help improving them ? Which part of this WikiProject do you find most useful ?
  • while some find the recommended structures useful, others reject them. Should we stick to them ?
  • is there a natural sequence for a scientific article, as the current recommendations suggest ?
  • is it better to replace the structures by check lists, i.e. lists of questions that articles could answer in the order that best suits them (emphasizing the content, not the order of its discussion).
  • any other idea to reach the stated goal of the WikiProject ?

Thanks in advance. Pcarbonn 20:14, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think that for some science articles, clarification for a general audience is vital for a general encyclopedia. Of course, not all science articles need this and not all need to be changed in quite the same way. Most articles on wikipedia grow organically, so trying to impose an outside structure on them ruins the flow of the article. Other articles have crept in length with randomn bits of trivia thrown in until the article is almost unreadable. These articles do require restructuring. For these articles and articles which do not have much to begin with, Wikiproject science provides a helpful framework for writing. Not all headings apply everywhere, and the structure laid out here should be thought of as prompts for writing rather than as rules. I think we need to be more careful in deciding what articles should be put up for improvement. We shouldn't be choosing articles based only on whether or not they conform to some arbitrary (but helpful) structure, but as Pcarbonn suggests, whether or not they answer certain questions clearly and completely. That's my two cents. Sayeth 19:23, Oct 10, 2004 (UTC)
I agree with all of Sayeth points, especially on the heading issues. It's good having a suggested layout, but they shouldn't be taken too literally, as they have on one or two occasions. I also think that sections shouldn't be added simply as placeholders until there's enough material to fill them, otherwise it starts to fragment articles, a formerly nice article all of sudden has a bunch of stubby sections, which should be avoided. I sugggest they can be added as HTML comments, however, which clues in the editor without detracting from the article for the reader. --Lexor|Talk 12:35, Oct 11, 2004 (UTC)

possible problem with proposed sturcture of Atom[edit]

I believe that there may be a problem with the proposed structure of Atom, so i would like the advice of the other WikiProject Scientists. please see my remarks at Talk:Atom#problem with proposed structure. thanks, Whosyourjudas (talk) 22:17, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Science COTW[edit]

Anyone for WikiProject Science Collaboration of the Week? I know I am! --Joe D 22:44, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

New Project?[edit]

Is it possible to put a taxonomy type thing like they have in the biology section in, so you can see what theories each theory directly relies on? I think this would be very useful. (This is a temporary IP)-- 21:15, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Aluminium was overhauled and completed by Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements, so I don't think we should refactor it to our structure. Should it just be made Done rather than Not Yet Reviewed? --Whosyourjudas (talk) 05:06, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • It seems to me that refactoring it to our structure would be counterproductive. I would not argue with moving it to the "Done" category. ClockworkTroll 06:47, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Gone a bit quiet here...[edit]

This WikiProject seems to have fallen silent. Meanwhile, I notice somebody has started up a Wikipedia:Science collaboration of the week, which, while a good idea seems to serve a different purpose than this WikiProject. --Lexor|Talk 14:07, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

Writing a cientific article is, in my opinion, more difficult than writing a biography or how big a city is :-) AnyFile 21:14, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 21:50, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)) Anyone fancy global warming?

Coordination with History of science[edit]

As an aside, if you happen to be editing a science article that has a history section, it would be nice to synchronize it with history of science (or more likely a subarticle), as applicable. -- Beland 06:10, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Articles yet to be reviewed[edit]

Where do we put remarks/evaluation of scientific articles that are reviewed as mentioned on this Project page? In the list of articles yet to be reviewed, I've seen Bacterium in there. I've done some work on that article and I think it's pretty good. H Padleckas 11:50, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Improvement Drive[edit]

Technology is currently nominated to be improved on Wikipedia:This week's improvement drive. If you want it to be improved, you can vote for it there.--Fenice 13:36, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

History of technology[edit]

History of technology is a candidate on WP:AID, and needs work in general. -- Beland 22:51, 5 September 2005 (UTC)


Why no Definition in the proposed guidelines. Where a shortish succinct definition can be written for the subject of a science or technology page it should be included as the very first heading. I'm really surprised that this obvious omission has not been suggested before. --Light current 12:34, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

I notice that you have put a heading called "Definition" before the lead-in paragraph in the inductance article. I'd like you to reconsider, please, because you are making the article inconsistent with the rest of Wikipedia (unless you plan to edit the other 600,000 articles). I checked the Manual of Style (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Sections), which states that the lead section should come before the first headline. Otherwise, people have to scroll down before they get to something they can read. As the Manual says, no one can force you to obey these rules, but you shouldn't break them unless you have a really good reason. See also Wikipedia:Guide_to_writing_better_articles#Lead_section and Wikipedia:Lead_section. Thanks. --Heron 19:38, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

My reasons are as follows:

I think that, for science and technology articles (only), a definition of what is being described in the article below is essential. For instance if we the had the definition in the first place, a great deal of irrelevant material would not be added in inappropriate places and the page would assume the correct structure much earlier. A short sharp definition at the start, rather than a long rambling discourse is, to me, to be preferred. This can be followed with a gentler introduction for those readers who want to find out more.

Also, I think that, especially when there is rather a large lead in para, as in some of the electrical/electronics articles, it makes the page look bad with the contents box near the bottom of the page. I am not suggesting that we do this on all articles, but only in the scientific/engineering ones.

I have put a comment on WikiProject science for this to be discussed.THanks for your interest in this proposal.--Light current 19:52, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

OK. I will add some comments to that page. --Heron 20:14, 11 September 2005 (UTC) Two comments (my opinion only):

  1. Please could you wait for the matter to be discussed before reformatting all the science articles? I suspect that other contributors will have opinions on this.
  2. The lead section of a science article is the definition. There is no need to label it "definition".

--Heron 20:23, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I am prepared to hold off until this matter has been fully discussed!--Light current 20:40, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunatley the lead in section on many science and technology articles does not actually include a concise definition of the subject. If they did, I would have no problem with this convention. Usually the lead in section is a very confused mass of text, a lot of which should be further down the page anyway. If people actually knew what we were trying to write about on a page ( by having a defn) Im sure it would help them focus their writing and save a good deal of wasted space on the talk pages. Could we please have some comments, esp from all you scientists & engineers out there.--Light current 13:43, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I have not seen the pages or examples you mention but I agree that the lead paragraph should be, if not a definition, a synopsis of the page in laymans terms. This, of course, is something that is easier said than done. I suspect that many science article need to be rewritten. This is one of the problems of an 'anyone can edit' policy since not everyone understands the role of the first paragraph (or the material!). Could you give me a link to an example, so i can see exactly what you are proposing with regard to the definitions. David D. (Talk) 14:55, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Try inductance capacitor inductor electricity--Light current 15:11, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

BTW the lead in on electricity was in a shocking state (sorry) and very confused before I rewrote it--Light current 15:20, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly that the introduction is very important and that many articles do a poor job with it. I object specifically to the placement of a heading above it. Every article should start with a short headingless paragraph; scientific articles posess no special property that would exempt them from this rule. --Smack (talk) 06:03, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

If the idea of a Definition heading is rejected by the majority of commentators here, then I suggest an alternative guideline to the effect that, in science/ technology/ engineering articles only, the lead para should contain the definition and only the definition of the subject and should be a maximum of 3 (three) lines in length. Could we have comments on this alternative please?--Light current 17:34, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Why should we adopt this policy? Wikipedia has an established policy on intro sections. You're trying to establish an exception to this policy. Before we establish an exception, we must (1) understand the reasons for the general policy, and (2) demonstrate that they do not apply here. None of the problems cited so far are specific to science and technology. Editor ignorance may be more of a problem in this domain than it is in other fields, but it occurs in all fields of knowledge. --Smack (talk) 05:08, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm trying to get a range of opinion on this topic of definitions. I beg to differ with your view that the problems are not specific to science and technology. Science and technology need specific definitions to avoid confusion of terms. Confusion of terms is perhaps less important in other non scientific fields. I do hope you're not suggesting that the science editors do not know how to write science articles. This sounds like a case of the pot and kettle! Anyway I resent the suggestion that I'm trying to establish something just for the sake of it. If I didn't think it was needed, I would not have suggested it. Also what is wrong with my alternative proposal if you don't like the first one?--Light current 05:48, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry; I must apologize for two misunderstandings that resulted from my previous comment. First, I did not suggest that science editors do not know how to write science articles. I misread some of the comments above as suggesting that careless people wander into science articles and start hacking them up without recognizing the subject. Second, I did not suggest that you're trying to establish policy for the sake of establishing policy. I intended to say that you're trying to carve out a section of the wiki to be governed by different rules than the rest of the wiki.
Now to reply to your comments. I'd like you to name a field that does not require precise and accurarte definitions. I think that the massive number of disambiguation pages that we see in all areas of the wiki attests to the need for precise definition everywhere. I still maintain that policy need not discriminate between different subject areas. --Smack (talk) 03:39, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree. There shouldn't be any special rules here.
We need a lead paragraph, with any goofy header, so that it appears above the table of contents. Gene Nygaard 13:19, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't really understand what you are saying here, Gene. Are you saying we do need a heading before the lead para or we don't?--Light current 21:21, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

I meant "without" rather than "with". Don't start with a header, have an introductory paragraph first. Thanks to you for asking for clarification and to Smack for also pointing this out to me. Gene Nygaard 06:30, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

I personally am not really interested in the other fields. Definitions or no definition, long rambling intro, or short: Its not important to me. However, in science and technology the subject needs to be accurately defined at the outset. Whether this comes under a heading or not, is not really the argument. If people are so against the idea of a specific heading, then so be it. Why are people against the idea of a short concise, accurate definition as the lead para?-- 09:56, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

There is no doubt that many science articles require a definition. There is no problem having a complete definition after the table of contents, actually, this is desirable. Nevertheless, to leave the area above the table of contents blank would be unwise. That first paragraph should be an overview of the whole page not just a definition. A succinct definition in that lead paragraph and an overview of the page would be perfect. This would then lead to the more accurate and mathematical, if necessary definition after the contents. That's how I see it at least. 16:18, 18 September 2005 (UTC) just noticed i signed this with an anon David D. (Talk) 08:04, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Who is it who likes to read articles without knowing what they're about? That's why every article should start with a definition. No heading, because it's at the very start. What's all the fuss about (I have skimmed through the long discussion above and still can't find an answer)? Brianjd | Why restrict HTML? | 04:47, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

It seemed so obvious I was considering adding it without visiting the talk page first, but I decided if it hasn't been added by now there must be a good reason for it. I just can't see that good reason anywhere. Brianjd | Why restrict HTML? | 04:48, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I think the consensus above agrees with your position (every article should start with a definition. No heading, because it's at the very start.). Is there fuss? Which page are you talking about above when you mention "It seemed so obvious I was considering adding it without visiting the talk page first". David D. (Talk) 05:06, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Is it fair to say that the idea of starting science articles with a heading is dead, or does anyone want to defend this proposition? --Smack (talk) 05:16, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Science pearls[edit]

Hello, Please notice this project. Thanks,APH 06:54, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Cat:Science Wikiprojects; , Project: General Outreach[edit]

I created Category:Science WikiProjects. I know it's not likely to be very useful, but it clears up (a little bit) Category:WikiProjects, and is a better access point than the Science section of the list of wikiprojects, which contains stuff on individual countries, etc.

In related news, the Wikipedia:WikiProject General Audience may interest some people here, since science articles are often the ones that aren't that easy to understand (Which is why I originally created the science wikiprojects category). Flammifer 16:44, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Metrication is FAC[edit]

The article on Metrication is a featured article candidate, please vote here: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Metrication. Thanks Seabhcán 10:26, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Scientist images[edit]

One idea for someone who has some free time on their hands would be to scour all of the likely PD images from this wonderful page and for any Nobel Laureate biography pics pre-1923 (make sure to get them from the "Biography" pages, not the award pages -- they are marginally larger photographs), upload them to Commons, and add them to articles without pictures (or without good ones). I've started on some of this but there are a lot of photos there... --Fastfission 23:16, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Bad Link?[edit]

The main page of Category:Science links to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Science_pearls_by_GB, which affectionately refers to Einstein as "Einstine," and contains no information. What's up with this? --Dataphiliac 06:46, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

That page needs to be deleted. There is a real WikiProject at Wikipedia:WikiProject Science pearls. BlankVerse 10:39, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

External peer review by Nature[edit]

I turn your attention to article by Nature and Wikipedia's response. Karol 06:03, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


I'm reviving Wikipedia:WikiProject_Neuroscience, so if you'd like to divert some articles over to us over there, or if you all have neuroscience-related articles, please let us know. Cheers! Semiconscious (talk · home) 07:45, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Science collaboration of the week[edit]

Chronospecies is a current candidate on Wikipedia:Science collaboration of the week. If you would like to see this article improved vote for it here. --Fenice 17:48, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Stable versions#Certification gang[edit]

would you like to create certified articles in science? -- Zondor 03:19, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject History of Science[edit]

Some participants in this project may be interested in WikiProject History of Science. May the Wiki be with you--ragesoss 00:45, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Nobel Prize articles[edit]

I just finished an informal review of all the Nobel Prize laurates in Physiology or Medicine. Many of the articles are very short stubs. I've made of list of my off-the-cuff assessments of each article on my subpage User:Sayeth/nobelprize. Please help improve these articles to make Wikipedia more complete. Sayeth 17:41, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

William John Macquorn Rankine[edit]

William John Macquorn Rankine can do with some extra information. If anyone can help bring this article up to standard, I'd be very grateful.

--MacRusgail 21:33, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Articles for the Wikipedia 1.0 project[edit]

Hi, I'm a member of the Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team, which is looking to identify quality articles in Wikipedia for future publication on CD or paper. We recently began assessing using these criteria, and we are looking for A-class, B-class, and Good articles, with no POV or copyright problems. Can you recommend any suitable articles? Or do you have a worklist of articles? Please post your suggestions here. Cheers, Walkerma 03:24, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm also a member of the Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team. It would be important to tell us what articles you would like to see in our list. Thanks. NCurse work 20:10, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
The following articles have been completed under WikiProject Science and would be excellent candidates for consideration:
  • Gene's nomination was rejected. NCurse work 05:36, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Already in Version 0.5. NCurse work 05:36, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
-- Paleorthid 04:57, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I nominate them. :) If any new article is completed, please let me know. NCurse work 05:28, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
A new article, Virus, has been completed under WikiProject Science. -- Paleorthid 21:24, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I nominated it. NCurse work 09:01, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
A new article, Soil, has been completed under WikiProject Science. -- Paleorthid 02:11, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

A Scientific Peer Review[edit]

I have been browsing Wikipedia:Peer Review and noticed that there is something called Wikipedia:CVG Peer review, a similar mechanism which specialises in "computer and video games-related topics". This got me thinking.

Peer review is, or should be, one of the most important tools on Wikipedia. Over the last few months we have been under the spot light over our accuracy, receiving reviews from newspapers and academic journals. Nature deemed us, on scientific, as error-laden as Britannica. Wikipedia has now matured from a small intellectual exercise into a serious and respectable source of information. As such, we are trying to find ways in which our articles can be safely used by the public without them being misled – the process for Wikipedia 1.0 and a validation feature are just beginning. From now on, we must do our most to ensure that as many of our articles as possible (and especially our scientific articles) are factually accurate and up-to-standard.

In light of this, I've had an idea that adapts (and hopefully improves) the WP:PR model in such a way that science-related articles. As well as allowing for a free-for-all comment and critique by all users which is standard in WP:PR, this model would also incorporate some sort of approved, and voted-for, board. The board would consist of a dozen Wikipedians (perhaps more, pending discussion) who belong to the scientific, academic community. These members would be familiar with scientific literature–theses, articles, etc. and would judge our articles by the standards with which they are familiar. Their grounds for critique would range from scientific content to prose to referencing to presentation, etc. Preferably, the board would cover a number of scientific disciplines such that any scientific article would get an appropriately in-depth grilling. A member of the article could specialise in grammar, punctuation, etc. and ensure the article conforms to our manual of style.

As well as a higher calibre of criticism, I would hope this method ensures that all articles are reviewed (unlike WP:PR where many articles pass through with little comment). It may also be nice that after a week or two of open commenting by the members of the board and non-members, the board makes a recommendation as to what the nominator of the article should do (e.g. "fix the article and nominate to WP:FAC"). Perhaps we could also include some of the functions of Wikipedia:Article assessment in its specification. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? --Oldak Quill 16:30, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

A very good idea. Potentially hard to implement. I have been trying my damndest to get experts I meet at conferences and at work to comment on wikipedia articles, and they mumble vaguely about being busy, it not being RAE rated, and how any fool could delete what they've written. I agree it's a good idea, but we may need to come up with a targetted marketing campaign. Is there such a thing as Wikipedia posters that can be put up in the real world?--PaulWicks 19:21, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I think mailing people in universities may be a better approach. It gives you more space to dispel the worries about wikiness, etc. r3m0t talk 22:11, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Paul that advocacy is one of the main challenges for Wikipedians. I've had a similar idea (not yet implemented) for attracting commercial photographers to wikipedia as a means of exhibiting some of their work for free as an advertisement.
I think specialised peer review would be a good idea. As has been suggested, this could to some extent be achieved by splitting the peer review up into specialised categories. I do think that non-scientific peer review is important for what wikipedia is trying to achieve, although I would also note that a number of minds have been seduced by the premises of wiki projects that imply they are written by "experts" only, such as [] (don't bother looking, they're not solving any problems that wikipedia isn't addressing at this very moment).
It is important to make sure that contributors understand that Wikipedia is not trying to live at the cutting edge of science and will not report the most recent publications willy-nilly, but has more of a moving wall principle (as I've said elsewhere before). One could spend one's life writing responses to scientific papers pointing out which experimental design flaws render the results meaningless, be they in Nature, Science, PLoS, Proceedings or PNAS.
Nor is Wikipedia trying to fully illuminate each topic - there are other fora for that. Wikipedia is for getting quick and accurate information about clearly defined subjects.
But just to be entirely clear on my views here - I think it would be good if our academic members could be fully efficient in the main namespace, and avoid the word battles over content sometimes conjured on talk pages. Edit wars between experts, however, will remain the more serious problem. Finally, we should also be wary of creating a two-class society, as currently already sometimes expresses itself between mere editors, and admins! - Samsara (talkcontribs) 20:20, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I think this is an excellent idea, in several ways. Whereas I rarely look through the swathes of requests for PR at the moment, I'd certainly keep a much closer eye on a Science PR. A 'board' could help a huge amount with assessing quality of references and overall accuracy. The whole thing could add a great deal more rigour to the production of scientific articles and I'm all for it. Other subject areas like history, literature, art etc could also think about something similar, taylored to their own needs. I think you should post this idea on the village pump and/or Wikipedia_talk:Peer reviewshould've checked before I posted that. Highly qualified people are reasonably easy to find, I know several people with PhDs just in astronomy around here, several more with masters degrees. Worldtraveller 20:09, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
In reply to Samsara, I don't think that such committees would be created a two-tiered society. We will simply be utilising the knowledge and skills available to us in the most efficient way. Those familiar with the literature know scientific standards, know how to present science and how to not do so both for experts and non-experts. How such a board is chosen is something to be decided - I would probably suggest an election in which there are 12 (or so) places available. People nominate themselves and give a brief description of themselves (and their areas of expertise) and everyone who wants to votes. Experts are important - they are able to critique and dissect articles in ways which non-experts cannot: they are able to point out factual inaccuracies that others cannot. -- 20:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC) [This was me. I wasn't signed in.] --Oldak Quill 20:45, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
An excellent idea. WP:PR is an informal process that is most valuable for style issues, making sure there are proper references for the article, etc. This type of more formal science review where several qualified people review the articles can be very valuable. The version reviewed can be at least designated so that efforts put into perfecting the article can't be wasted by later vandalism. That's kind of the idea behind Wikipedia:Stable versions. Now I've always thought a branching system where the stable branch of an article is only editable by qualified editors would be the real key to taking the quality of our content to the next level. With that, we would no longer be so repulsive to experts. Additionally, if it can be verified that the citations are correctly used and the cited source does in fact support the cited fact, then we have a demonstrably reliable article. Science peer review can be a model for further content specific peer reviews. So go for it. - Taxman Talk 22:28, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
In my mind the stable versions would be more a feature of the History than a "branch". People with administrator power will be able to toggle particular versions in the history as "safe" factually. When viewing the history these versions will be designated by an icon. Users will be able to toggle, in their user preferences, a "safe browsing mode" whereby they automatically view the most recent "safe" version of that article. When there is no safe version available for a particular article they will view the live version with a red-letted message at the top. There could also be different grades of "safeness" from 'vandal-free' to 'factually accurate'. --Oldak Quill 22:34, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
  • SPR a good idea! Tony 23:47, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I have now created the page at Wikipedia:Scientific peer review. Please nominate yourself if you wish to stand for the board. --Oldak Quill 01:34, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

The Wikipedia:Scientific peer review is good idea and some promotion and advertising hase to be done to get the right people to notice that they join the board! So letz get them to know the new project!Stone 12:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

SPR is something I support. I have another couple suggestions that may be FTHTI (far too hard to implement) but are on my wishlist.
  • Firstly. The board is a good idea but it may be too hard to implement in terms of time and commitment to the review process. An advantage of wikipedia is the open access so that you don't have to have board members etc. Could there be some way of issuing "certified authorities" wiki identification numbers to scientists working in corporate, government or academic institutions? This way scientists (or other authorities) can sign up to wikipedia for free, and have their institution verify that they are "an authority". Then when these authorities edit an article they can simply tick on a tick box for the part of the article they have read, and this would say whether they consider it an authoritative and correct statement of the facts or not. They would not actually have to spend the time changing the article. If there was a way of storing this information then the article or subsection of an article could have a ranking: e.g. "9 out of 10 certified authorities consider this to be an authoritative statement of Newton's first law" etc..
  • Secondly. One can understand part of the aim of science is the refinement of emprically-based models. Another important part is providing the data for these models. I would love to see a way for Wikipedia to provide a forum for establishing models, and a portal for providing data into the models. Perhaps we could use the AJAX technology as used for the writely wordprocessor, or, more specifically the irows technology. And the same authoritisation process above could be used for the legitmisation of the models and data.
As for whether wikipedia should be at the cutting edge of science. I think that it is anyway, I mean it is a great way for hypothesis testing, and for error correction, and it also without intending to contributes novel knowledge through the collaboration process. So I think the input of cutting edge data into models would be legitimate as far as the mandate of Wikipedia is concerned. Sholto Maud 04:36, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we should implement any policies that will make readers less likely to contribute to an article. I see the "factually accurate" and "vandal-free" flags as having that potential, as does the "9 out of 10 certified authorities consider this to be an authoritative statement" idea. Constructive peer review that leads to improvement of the articles is what we're after, not some number out of 10! - Samsara (talkcontribs) 10:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Just to clarify. I didn't mean to propose a score out of 10. I meant simply a running talley: e.g. it could be 59 out of 70 authorities verified this article as authoritative. This could show how many authorities/experts/peers have reveiwed the article, and what the current opinion is of the articles contents. I agree that we should be wary of this if it makes readers less likely to contribute. My additional agenda here is to make the board of "authorities" as big a population and democratic as possible - thus reducing the claim to epistemological elitism. On the other hand, it could make readers more likely to contribute because they may feel encouraged by the fact that the article and their contributions have legitimacy in the eyes of the widest spectrum of "certified" "authorities". Currently there does not seem to be a way of capturing the valued contributions of authorities, so result is that an expert may edit an article but the expert's opinion has equal weighting as the layperson. So I guess I'm proposing a "peer review weighting system", as a way of capturing the authority of the occassional expert's review without them having to go through a nomination process for a review board etc., and as a way of psuedo-quantifying the authoritativeness of the article. Maybe there could also be a SPR board as well? Sholto Maud 10:51, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Modelwiki ⊆ SPR (& SPR ⊇ Modelwiki)[edit]

Just also thought that if Wikipedia had a way of implementing scientific mathematical models in articles (able to be computer simulated), then this might be a way of capturing the sociological evolution of opinion about the validity (and falsificationarity) of the model (in the Kuhnian sense. So Wikipedia articles could capture the change of authoritative opinion should a model go out of vogue or be superseeded (as models do). Indeed, if we had a way of globally contributing data, then school kids (and others) could contribute data in order to falsify a model. So we might then have the largest possible population set for the ongoing process of model falsification (which is apparently how any model of science gets it's authority). Hence each primary, secondary, tertiary etc. school of the world would be afforded a Wiki-code which would be appended to contributions for peer review weighting. (maybe I'm getting ahead of myself;) ) Sholto Maud 11:08, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, something like this will become part of 21st century science. See distributed computing, grid computing, etc. The problem would be with who gets to propose the model that's to be tested. There are changes that need to happen in academia first before your proposed idea can fully work. That's not to discourage you from thinking about how to implement the network/communication protocol to do this. I'd not be surprised if we saw a product like this coming from Wolfram Research or similar company, soon.
Also compare with [1]. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 11:43, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Begin with the simplest received models proposed by Galeleo, Newton, Ohm, Maxwell etc. and the problem of who gets to propose the model is redundant. I'll think about that communicative action protocol. Sholto Maud 09:42, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Re: communication protocol. This may be from left field... is betting like a form of SPR? So if one opened up scientific models to betting, and had odds on whether the model would produce an empirical result, then the & most authoritative models (and hence wikipedia articles) would be those that would give 1:1 result. the worst would be 1000:1 etc. 12:24, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
[Off-topic] What you're describing is maximum likelihood. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 12:27, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes you are probably right. But then maximum likelihood would seem to be what scientific method aims at. Modelwiki would also be an element of SPR. Would it stand to reason that academia would be attracted to a free source of current authority-weighted information as against paying $1000s for science journal subscription etc.?. Sholto Maud 21:12, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

First scientific peer review on Wikipedia[edit]

Over at WP:SPR, the first request for review has been made, for the article science. The relevant request page is Wikipedia:Scientific peer review/Science. All knowledgeable and interested to review are welcome. Karol 23:48, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

List of science pages nominated for collaborations[edit]

Would anyone be interested in maintaining this list on the WikiProject Science project page?

It's too much for me to maintain at SCOTW, but you may find it useful here. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, no bot can yet be taught to distinguish science and non-science articles. Let me know if you think otherwise.


Samsara (talkcontribs) 16:26, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

If no one has done it already, I'm willing to consider taking this on. Can you leave me a note about what it entails? --Ed (Edgar181) 20:57, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

A few suggestions[edit]

After having a look around the Science project, I think there are a couple of changes which could possible help improve it. These are only suggestions, but I'd like to hear what people have to say.

The first is to do with the main project page. The WP:SCOTW template is included on that page, but only to those who scroll to almost the very bottom. I feel if that template was moved to the top of the page, it would hopefully encourage more users to participate in the collaboration, and also get more nominations in.

On the same page, the "Plan of approach" seems to be quite out of date. Perhaps this can be updated (I'm not sure where the numbers come from) or removed?

The scientific peer review is a great idea, but just how many people know about it? Could it perhaps be added to the "Related pages" section on WP:PR? I also think it should be mentioned somewhere on the project page, perhaps in the "How you can help section"?

Again, these are just suggestions, I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes. --Scott 13:54, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Maintainment of the portal[edit]

I am running the portal page by myself right now, updating all content weekly (except for updating the archives well). Perhaps somebody else could help me out? I can be dependable on keeping up what I am doing, but I may have to do something one weekend, but would like to see the portal kept maintained. I hope I don't grow too attached to it. -- Flag of the United States.svg Mac Davis] ⌇☢ ญƛ. 09:29, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Wow looks like a big job! I'm on pretty frequently and would like to help, what kind of things would this entail? -- Serephine / talk - 11:52, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced GA[edit]

I have started a WikiProject that aims to promote the citing of sources, with special focus on articles that already fulfil all other criteria for becoming Good Articles. I'm mentioning it here because I think that verifiability is a particular concern for scientific articles. Come check it out and make any suggestions you may have!

Samsara (talkcontribs) 19:46, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Academic peer review[edit]

Taking our lessons from the demise of the Scientific Peer Review project, there is now a much simpler way to attract academic peer review. Feel free to give us your comments, but please remember to keep it simple. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 11:41, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Category: Outsider Scientists[edit]

When writing an article about Margie Profet, I wanted to create a category for outsider scientists - scientists who use accepted methods of research but who operate outside institutions or who do not have an advanced degree. The category was voted down. (see the discussion here).

I would still like a category for these people but would like suggestions from the WikiProject Science for a category that would not be voted down. I also discussed this with the askMefi crowd here. (Someone suggested I ask here.)

I don't think amateur scientist is right because Margie Profet, for example, made money off popular media books she wrote about her research.

I borrowed this term from "outsider artist" which is well-accepted in the art world for someone who is not formally educated but still successful in the art world. I've seen the term "outsider scientist" used in traditional science journals. But sparingly.

Jane Goodall would be a good example of who I want to categorize this way (except she did go on to get an advanced degree). Thomas Edison would be a great example except he is an inventor, really, not a scientist. Sorry I don't have any good examples other than Margie Profet right now. I've seen some talk about a Rupert Sheldrake, but I'm not familiar enough with his work to know if he uses accepted research methods. That's the key to my category - using accepted research methods - even if your research is not successful (doesn't come to any conclusions) - as long as you use accepted methods to do the research.

Pointed out in the askMefi discussion, is that both archeology and astronomy welcome and accept research from the public.

Any suggestions? thanks, --cda 10:41, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Hm, Ok, I guess no one is interested in this but me. But what about, for example, The Mythbusters? One of the co-stars, Hyneman, "has a degree in Russian language and literature." And yet he conducts "experiments" on the show. This show is very popular with kids and also science-minded people I know. They try, on the show, to conduct controlled experiments. It's like the new Mr. Wizard. Yet it is only in "entertainment" categories. I think there should be some kind of science category for these kind of people. I'm not getting my point across very well. I'll go back to my room now. --cda 22:24, 2 July 2006 (UTC) (I don't check this page very often so if anyone wants to talk to me about this please use my talk page.)

One more thing - There's a "Category:Psychedelic researchers"! (Why Psychedelic researchers is OK and not Outsider Scientists?)--cda 03:27, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

New page layout[edit]

Would anyone object if I changed the page layout to reflect a similar layout to the Wikipedia:WikiProject Viruses page? The existing navigation bar would be incorporated into it, not replaced. Also, this talk page is getting out of hand, either the old messages need to be archived or deleted. Thanks! -- Serephine talk - 10:17, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Nice layout. I can definitely see moving in that direction. -- Paleorthid 15:31, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I've completed the layout update for Wikiproject Preclinical Medicine so I'll turn my sights here within the next couple of days then ☺ -- Serephine talk - 06:42, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Sub-project proposal: keeping Wikipedia up-to-date using the literature[edit]

One of Wikipedia's greatest advantages over other sources of reference is our ability to be astonishingly up-to-date — bleeding-edge, I would say. Minutes after a particular story hits the wires, the relevant articles are updated (in the case of the death of Andrea Dworkin, we had added the information hours before the news got out).

This is to be expected, Wikipedia is updated by thousands of people, many of whom regularly read the news and so update very quickly (there is almost a race to be the first to update articles - kudos to the first contributor to achieve it). Sadly, this is not the case with advances (often major) detailed in academic journals. Fewer people read academic journals (this is particularly true for those detailing highly-specific sciences) so articles are often slow in catching up with advances in science. We have to wait for the popular press to release the story,often days or weeks later, to see changes to articles. In a worst-case scenario, it is not until textbooks are updated that we add the information.

It is in light of this that I propose a subproject of WikiProject Science which is charged with the task of systematically reading the literature (particularly major cross-discipline journals such as Nature, Science, New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet) and updating relevant articles. In practical terms I envisage one or two members (or more?) of the project being assigned a particular journal. Every week, fortnight, or month, depending on the journal, these users would read the journal and update our articles with new information (citing the journal as appropriate). These editors would be experts in the field which the journal concerns (preferably, at least).

By employing this system Wikipedia will be using its advantages to its best ability. We will ensure that articles are as informative as possible to everyone from the casual reader to the academic. Does anyone have any opinions on this proposal? --Oldak Quill 18:08, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

While I think the basic idea is sound, I doubt a large enough force of Wikipedians could be held responsible for "forced updates" of the nature suggested. Also, many of the ground breaking journal articles may be added to Wikipedia by one person, leaving interpretive error always lurking there in the shadows. Don't forget that a little bit of knowledge can be worse than none whatsoever. But it's not to say that it shouldn't be done, I'm just playing devils advocate to point out the problems inherant in writing a scientific Wikipedia with the current userbase of experienced scientific editors. I just see any attempt at this project on a wide-scale, organised level crumbling into inactivity - while it is a grand idea there simply will not be enough interest to keep people trolling through journal articles in the name of Wikipedia. But hey, prove me wrong by all means -- Serephine talk - 16:05, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Starting resturcting of Magntism[edit]

I'm going to start with the resturcting of magntism. I'm going to first organize the units section to put the two currnt(Si and other) into one new section called units of magntism and they'll both subsections.--Scott3 22:03, 12 July 2006 (UTC)


Metrication is up for a featured article review. Detailed concerns may be found here. Please leave your comments and help us address and maintain this article's featured quality. Sandy 14:14, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Citation templates[edit]

Hi all, please use these wherever possible. In particular, when citing an on-line article, please note that very few Wikipedia readers have an academic appointment and are using their office computer to access a journal's website, whereas anyone can download an arXiv eprint for free, so

  1. in the case of published papers which are on-line, please use a link to the arXiv abstract page (not everyone prefers to download a pdf!; postscript is much faster for those with a postscript printer!) rather than a link to the journal website,
  2. in the case of eprints, please use the arXiv citation template.

Here is the tutorial (created for the defuct WikiProject GTR, hence the gtr-related examples):

  • Book:

*{{cite book | author=Misner, Charles; Thorne, Kip S.; and Wheeler, John Archibald | title=Gravitation | location=San Francisco | publisher= W. H. Freeman | year=1973 | id=ISBN 0-7167-0344-0}}

  • Article in a research journal:

*{{cite journal | author=Kerr, R. P. | title=Gravitational field of a spinning mass as an example of algebraically special metrics | journal=Phys. Rev. Lett. | year=1963 | volume=11 | pages=237}}

  • Article in a research journal which was previously an arXiv eprint (check the arXiv abstract page to see if any publication details are noted):

*{{cite journal | author=Bicak, Jiri | title=Selected exact solutions of Einstein's field equations: their role in general relativity and astrophysics | journal=Lect. Notes Phys. | year=2000 | volume=540 | pages=1-126}} [ gr-qc/0004016 eprint version]

  • arXiv eprint (not yet published):

*{{cite arXiv | author=Roberts, M. D. | title=Spacetime Exterior to a Star: Against Asymptotic Flatness | year = 1998 | eprint=qr-qc/9811093}}

  • Article in a book:

*{{cite conference | author=Ehlers, Jürgen; & Kundt, Wolfgang | title=Exact solutions of the gravitational field equations | booktitle=Gravitation: an Introduction to Current Research | year=1962 | pages=49–101}} See ''section 2-5.''

  • Biography in the MacTutor archive:

{{MacTutor Biography |id=Friedmann|title=Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Friedmann}}

  • Article at the Living Reviews website:

*{{cite web | author=Gönner, Hubert F. M. | title=On the History of Unified Field Theories | work=Living Reviews in Relativity | url= | accessdate=2005-08-10 }}

These have the following effects:

Maybe some kind project member can move this tutorial to the appropriate project page? And what about a page called something like "introduction for project newbies" which helps newcomers to editing science-related articles find valuable resources like this tutorial? TIA! ---CH 19:58, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Open access[edit]

Can a wikiproject be in support of open access? Username132 (talk) 16:55, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Soil FAC and a lot of very short, choppy sections[edit]

Soil has completed the article restructuring per WikiProject Science guidelines and is a Featured Article Candidate. An objection to FA based on a lot of very short, choppy sections has merit. Any comments on this aspect appreciated here or on Talk:Soil. -- Paleorthid 02:49, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Request for peer review of Enzyme kinetics[edit]

Hi there. Any feedback on this article to help bring it towards FA status would be a great help. Peer Review. Thank you. TimVickers 18:51, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

History of biology collaboration[edit]

The current History of Science Collaboration of the Month is Wikipedia:WikiProject History of Science/Collaboration of the Month/current.

Some of you might be interested.--ragesoss 17:47, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Albert Einstein[edit]

Albert Einstein is up for a featured article review. Detailed concerns may be found here. Please leave your comments and help us address and maintain this article's featured quality. Sandy 18:50, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Project directory[edit]

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 23:26, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Extent of physics as a central science[edit]

There is a discussion at regarding the definition of physics. The group of editors there is somewhat small, but we're discussing an important topic: to what extent is physics the central science? We've identified 3 main positions:

1. Physics is the superclass of all the other sciences.
2. Physics studies the basic constituents of the natural world.
3a. Physics studies matter and energy.
3b. "Base constituents" is unclear to someone who doesn't already know what they are.

Each of the 3 leaves us with a different core definition of physics:

  1. ...the study of nature
  2. ...the study of the base constituents of nature
  3. ...the study of matter and energy [fields and their interactions]

The current argument is between positions 1 and 2. Position 1 places biology and psychology under physics. (I disagree with this.) The relationship between physics and the other sciences concerns not just physics, but also those other sciences, and so I wanted to bring this discussion here. My opponent was opposed to this change of venue, so at the least I ask that some of you join us in the discussion there. I'm more engineer than scientist, and my opponent is inclined towards physics, so some input from informed and diverse minds would surely help. The discussion is at Talk:Physics/wip#Physics_as_a_super-science. –MT 13:01, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Further to what M writes, the definitional and philosophical foundations do indeed seem to cause most headaches; but progress has been made. Why not review some of the proposals for the lead material that people are putting forward, or put forward your own, or simply join the discussion at Talk:Physics/wip? The more contributors the better, for a consensus. – Noetica 02:09, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
UPDATE: Concrete proposals have now been put forward, arising from recent discussion aimed at producing a stable and consensual lead section for the Physics article. We have set up a straw poll, for comments on the proposals. Why not drop in at Talk:Physics/wip, and have your say? The more the better! – Noetica 22:26, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Elsevier in need of cleanup[edit]

The biggest scientific publisher could really use a good overhaul. Just a head sup for the interested. Circeus 18:14, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

At a first glance parts of it look like a direct copy from Elsevier advertising. The article should mention the take over of Pergamon Press as well, and that article needs expanding.

Expert attention required[edit]

Hey there folks. Could you have a look at Category:Pages needing expert attention from Science experts? I'm in the middle of sorting out the expert requests and the ones in your field are going to go there. Thanks much! --Brad Beattie (talk) 04:00, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


Beginning cross-post.

See Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team#Stablepedia. If you wish to comment, please comment there. MESSEDROCKER 03:29, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

End cross-post. Please do not comment more in this section.

Science portal[edit]

Please offer any feedback you have at its talk page on how to improve this portal to featured status. Thanks. Rfrisbietalk 16:18, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Scientific citations[edit]

Would your WikiProject like to endorse Wikipedia:Scientific citation guidelines? If so, please let those editors at that guideline know. --ScienceApologist 19:02, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Scientific method[edit]

Does anybody support a name/scope change to Portal:Philosophy of science? Scientific method is fairly narrow, and the main philosophy of science could be broken up into different areas. Thoughts? riana_dzasta 06:42, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

:I support the rename and expansion in scope. The current portal has been around in its current state since May 2005 with very little development. It could form a very strong three-way partnership with Portal:Science and Portal:History of science. Rfrisbietalk 14:36, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Feel free to continue the discussion here. riana_dzasta 15:03, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Nevermind. We just started a new Portal:Philosophy of science. The more the merrier, feel free to join in. :-) Rfrisbietalk 21:38, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Simple Introduction[edit]

Some science articles are starting to produce introductory versions of themselves to make them more accessible to the average encyclopedia reader. You can see what has been done so far at special relativity, general relativity and evolution, all of which now have special introduction articles. These are intermediate between the very simple articles on Simple Wikipedia and the regular encyclopedia articles. They serve a valuable function in producing something that is useful for getting someone up to speed so that they can then tackle the real article. Those who want even simpler explanations can drop down to Simple Wikipedia. What do you think?--Filll 22:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I like them! :-) Most of the "Introduction to..." articles seem to be in the areas of science and mathematics. Not counting the stubs, they appear to be very useful additions to math/science library, including their own areas on the applicable Science portals. I'll try something at the main portal. For now, the "complete" list seems to be: Introductions to... Entropy  • Evolution • Genetics • General relativity • M-theory • Quantum mechanics • Special relativity.
Also, these seem to be of a much better quality than what generally is at the Simple Wikipedia. These "intermediate" articles probably are better prototypes for developing the simple articles than the complete articles would be. Rfrisbietalk 23:23, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Of course, I could have just looked at Category:Introductions, but at least now I know the category includes all of the completed intro articles! :-) Rfrisbietalk 01:14, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

FAC for DNA[edit]

HI there. This article is now a candidate for a featured article. Any comments or suggestions would be welcome on its nomination page here. Thank you. TimVickers 23:13, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards[edit]

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of Wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 16:46, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Mapping the sciences: scientific adjectives/name of the science(s)[edit]

Scientific adjectives is a sub-project of the WikiProject Conceptual Jungle, aiming at making an overview in a table of scientific adjectives and the various branches of (the) science(s) and qualify them by discussing them, improving the Wikipedia articles and make clear the interlinkages. Please feel free to add your contributions to the table. Best regards, Brz7 12:52, 3 January 2007 (UTC)