I was saddened to hear about the recent death of James Randi. The skepticism community owe him a great deal of gratitude. His contributions are too numerous to list here, but his work with his partner, José Alvarez, to hoax the Australian media with a fake spirit channeler, Carlos, has always been special to me.

This is just one example of an big event or commemoration in the general skeptics community that I have wanted to acknowledge on the site, but I can't see how to do it well - and all the ideas I do have, I would rather have permission from the site's users first.

  • I don't believe the mods can put banners on the top of the site, that Stack Exchange sometimes does. We could probably escalate a request up, but I don't expect that to be very responsive.

  • We could use the Q&A format to have some sort of special meta-questions that we "ask" that aren't really questions.

  • We could allow/encourage artificial questions on the site (e.g. Q: Could the Great Carlos channel spirits? A: No, it was a hoax designed by the late James Randi, who also did all this other stuff.)

Any better suggestions? Any ideas from other people that you like? Would you rather we didn't acknowledge such events and maintained our focus on Q&A?

  • I've just learned about chat events but I don't know if they help at all.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Oct 22, 2020 at 23:44
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    SciFi.SE regularly acknowledges the deaths of significant individuals in the field by posting Meta questions in their honour. Here's their post honouring Chadwick Boseman, for example. That's the only sort of "event" they commemorate, though, so I'm not sure it answers your question.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 23, 2020 at 7:20
  • @F1Krazy: I think it does answer the question. Do you mind making it an answer, so we can see if people are happy/unhappy with the idea?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Oct 23, 2020 at 8:01
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    @F1Krazy - the only problem with SFF's approach to it is content - unfortunately the majority of commemorative posts are about some random celebrity (usually actors who acted in SF movies/TV), and not about meaningful creators of SFF content. But the idea is solid and I second your proposal.
    – user5341
    Oct 29, 2020 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


Science Fiction & Fantasy's Meta has the in-memoriam tag to honor the passing of those connected with the science fiction and fantasy community. Recent honorees include writers such as Terry Goodkind, D. C. Fontana, and Joe Ruby, and actors such as Peter Mayhew, Rene Auberjonois, Terry Jones, and Chadwick Boseman.

What do you think about creating an tag here on Skeptics Meta? By keeping these posts on Meta, we can keep the main site focused on actual skeptical Q&A and continue the practice of Meta being a looser, community-focused site.

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    I made this answer before I saw F1Krazy's comment suggesting the same thing. Oct 23, 2020 at 12:44
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    I've seen and even done this on other sites. This is the best way. Mods can feature it too, for a short while, anyway.
    – user11643
    Oct 27, 2020 at 5:38
  • I like the tag and it fits within the context of the question, but what about major events in the Skeptics community that don't involve people dying? I can't really think of any examples, so maybe this is a non-issue. Oct 29, 2020 at 15:47

Please keep them to the usual forums.

The most awesome thing with the Stack Exchange network is the focus on questions and answers. I don't want to read the news, discuss the weather, etc. For this reason I really dislike the "in-memoriam" thing they do on SF&F, and it's turned me off that sub-stack.

I don't want to be a member of a community, one in the "gang" of oldtimers. There are plenty of outlets for that already.

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