Monday Science Link – Quora

Today’s science link is Quora.

Are you all familiar with Formspring and Yahoo Answers, websites where people can ask each other questions? They can be fairly crazy at times, and the answers some people give tend not to be overly accurate. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a more… respectable website, where people could ask more serious, intellectual questions?

Well, it does exist, and it’s called Quora. While it doesn’t deal exclusively with science, it does have a large scientific community who ask and answer questions on every facet of science, giving accurate and reasoned responses.

The site is split into “topics”, categories of questions that individuals can follow and be notified when new questions appear within them. For example, I follow the Evolutionary Biology, Chemistry, Genetics, Biochemistry, Intelligent Design and Creationism topics, among others.

Since the people asking the questions really do want intelligent, well-thought-out answers, Quora is an excellent tool for science communicators – it even sharpens your communication skills in the process! Being able to succinctly explain a scientific concept to a person who may not be familiar with the general topic is a critical skill for science communication, and more people need to practice it. It’s always great to give someone an answer to a science question that’s been bugging them about mitochondrial DNA, identical twins or scientific discoveries.

So, if you’re a budding science communicator, or you just want some scientific questions answered, jump onto Quora. Oh, and feel free to follow me, if you’re into that sort of thing.

One thought on “Monday Science Link – Quora”

  1. Jack, it's a shame more scientists don't share your views on the essential nature of science communication. I think it was Steven Novella whom I once heard comment that many scientists are only comfortable discussing their specialty with peers, and either struggle with or don't bother with any outreach.

    Thank you for posting about this resource – Google Scholar results can be painful, and many journals and databases require accounts to access full peer-reviewed content. Fact-checking claims can be very time-consuming for laymen like myself.

    Lucas.

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