The footer with the list of sites looks like it is going to be updated, at least there is a new version of it visible on Meta.SO. In that version, the sites are separated according to the Area 51 categories.

This makes sense in general of course, but Skeptics is in the category Culture/Recreation, and I don't think it belongs there. We have been in the wrong category for a while, but those categories didn't reall matter outside of Area 51. Now that they are going to be visible on the main sites, we should move into the proper "Science" category where we belong.

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    Yes – but is here the right place to raise this? Wouldn’t this be a support question and thus for meta.stackoverflow.com? (Or should this be tagged “discussion”, in which case we could argue whether it’s more relevant to leave it in the “culture” section …) – Konrad Rudolph Apr 22 '13 at 10:26
  • This is only relevant for our site, so I think this is the appropriate place. Once the Skeptics community shows that it supports the change, we can point someone from SE to this post. Or if the community doesn't approve, we leave the site where it is now. – Mad Scientist Apr 22 '13 at 10:38
  • @Fabian do you want the footer to be changed only on skeptics or on all graduated sites? If it's on all sites then this question belongs on meta. – Sklivvz Apr 22 '13 at 12:02
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    @Sklivvz I want Skeptics to be put into a different site category. That this also changes the footer is a side-effect. The main question here is "in which category does Skeptics belong", and I think the Skeptics community is more relevant to this than the whole SE community. – Mad Scientist Apr 22 '13 at 12:06
  • @Fabian there is no "site category" as such, there's just a footer (an HTML block). – Sklivvz Apr 22 '13 at 12:07
  • @Sklivvz The categories are on Area 51, there every site is put into one category. The new footer is just the first time those categories are visible outside of Area 51 and stackexchange.com, they never really mattered before – Mad Scientist Apr 22 '13 at 12:12
  • @Fabian as far as I know, they are unrelated. There is no "shared" category across Area51, SE.com, meta and sites... – Sklivvz Apr 22 '13 at 12:13
  • @Sklivvz The Area 51 categories match the footer categories perfectly, just some categories are combined like Culture and Recreation, and Life and Arts. Skeptics also appears in the categorie Culture on Area 51, so they certainly look related, even if they are implemented differently – Mad Scientist Apr 22 '13 at 12:16
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    Why does Skeptics.SE belong in the science category? – Andrew Grimm Apr 24 '13 at 2:36

To be honest, I'm going to have to go against the grain and disagree on this one although with the caveat that I'm not sure that "Culture / Recreation" is the right category either. The reason why I don't think that "Science" is the best category is that while most of the focus of this site is on science related questions, we still welcome and address questions related to history and popular culture that are only nominally related (at best) to science. Thus, I'd be concerned that moving us to "Science" would change the nature of the questions that we would get.

Although that said, I wonder if "Life / Arts" might be a choice to consider since the site tends encourage a skeptical approach to pretty much everything as opposed to just a narrow band of things.

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I agree with your proposal.

Furthermore we should move philosophy to culture (philosophy is most certainly NOT a science).

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    Well. Scepticism is also not a science. It applies science. But then so can philosophy (but traditionally doesn’t). – Konrad Rudolph Apr 22 '13 at 19:30
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    Philosophy is closer to culture, skepticism is closer to science. IMO – Sklivvz Apr 22 '13 at 19:36
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    Maybe we should ask Philosophy where they believe they fit best? – Aarthi Apr 23 '13 at 18:24
  • @Aarthi we most definitely should, which is why I wanted to move the question to main meta :-) But, we should at least ask them if they feel their current placement is appropriate. – Sklivvz Apr 23 '13 at 18:58
  • I agree with your first sentence, I do not agree or disagree with the second. As a result, I am not upvoting. – Suma Apr 26 '13 at 8:48
  • @Suma why not add your own answer then? – Sklivvz Apr 26 '13 at 8:51

We're not going to be making any category changes at the moment.

Our Area 51 categorization is admittedly a bit arbitrary, but I don't think Science makes any more sense for this site than Culture/Recreation does. Skepticism isn't really a science or an academic field. Rather it's a world view that happens to be really important to the scientific method.

To be honest, I don't think we currently have a category that would be a clear and obvious winner for Skeptics. We've talked briefly about re-evaluating the categories we have on hand, but that's been on hold as most Area 51-related things are right now.

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  • Have you read Scientific Skepticism? – user5582 Oct 23 '13 at 18:50
  • "Scientific skeptics believe that empirical investigation of reality leads to the truth, and that the scientific method is best suited to this purpose." – user5582 Oct 23 '13 at 18:50
  • Skepticism is a world view that believes the use of the scientific method is the best route to truth. – user5582 Oct 23 '13 at 18:52
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    @Articuno It's still a world view, not a science. – Adam Lear Oct 23 '13 at 18:59
  • I didn't think that precludes it from being accurately categorized. – user5582 Oct 23 '13 at 19:04
  • @Articuno That's assuming you and I agree that "science" is the right category. My point is that it isn't. – Adam Lear Oct 23 '13 at 19:04
  • Ah. okay. So, it's really not up to the individual sites how they are categorized, then? (at least, not at the moment) – user5582 Oct 23 '13 at 19:05
  • @Articuno That's typically settled during the site definition process, which is how Skeptics ended up in its current category. – Adam Lear Oct 23 '13 at 19:06
  • Has any site ever changed its category after the definition process? Just curious what it would take... – user5582 Oct 23 '13 at 19:07
  • It's not impossible in principle, but I don't think we've ever had a precedent. In this case, we (the community team at SE) discussed this request internally and it wasn't clear to us that Science is an obvious win. – Adam Lear Oct 23 '13 at 19:10
  • Okay, I just was trying to understand the process. If I understand you correctly, the decision is simply not in the hands of this site's community. That's okay, I guess, since the SE community team needs to decide what's best for the stackexchange network as a whole, and I can see how categorization decisions affect the network more than they affect any individual site (except for maybe a bit of traffic being misdirected). – user5582 Oct 23 '13 at 19:14

I agree with your proposal. It seems to me science describes this site better than culture or recreation.

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    I agree with your answer because it's a subset of mine. +1 :-) – Sklivvz Apr 26 '13 at 15:10

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