Following on from the moderate "success" of the first Topic Challenge, and the less successful second Topic Challenge, this third (and possibly final Topic Challenge) will focus on and

These are hopefully more 'accessible' tags for which we have a lot of active users with knowledge to both think of questions and, importantly also to answer questions.

As previously, it would be great if people could get involved and suggest new topics by dropping a post on the original proposal.

In terms of what questions you can ask, anything goes as long as it's on-topic and broadly related to one of the chosen tags. Feel free to ask one/several questions on either/both, but remember that this is about encouraging quality questions, so lets not just add to the 'close' queue!

For any questions I think need or deserve it, I'll add (or try and coordinate) some bounties and in two weeks time I'll post an answer here with the stats on how many questions have been asked on these tags, how many answers those questions have had and anything else notable.

Remember to tag the question with the relevant tag (there is no specific topic challenge tag, and theres no need to try and make one).

If you have any questions, you can ask them here or bring it up in chat.

• I think we should have a master meta post, and use it to decide what topics we should ask about. There should be some documented schedule, so people can prepare questions beforehand, and choosing the next topic can become democratic. Unless you're a dictator . . . Aug 8 '17 at 16:14
• @M.A.R.- I have been asking people to comment on the original meta post it would be great if people could get involved and suggest new topics by dropping a post on the original proposal but nobody has taken me up on my offer!! In an ideal world multiple people would suggest ideas and we'd use the two with the most upvoates each week Aug 8 '17 at 16:51
• I'd just post something. Hold on. They probably don't listen to you because you're not Evans. Aug 8 '17 at 17:20
• I really enjoy these, I hope this is not the last. I've been a lurker lately!
– Melanie Shebel Mod
Aug 12 '17 at 2:27
• I also hope it's not the last, but I think after this one maybe we should take a short break to review it. I don't think there's as much participation as envisioned - not that that's a bad thing - but maybe there are some ways to increase it.
– orthocresol Mod
Aug 12 '17 at 14:59
• @Orthocresol — I agree. I do think there have been some good questions and answers, but I'm not sure it's really good gathering the engagement id hoped, but rather just given a handful of already active users some additional interesting things to ponder (which itself isn't a bad thing ) Aug 12 '17 at 20:23

Questions in :

Questions in :

I wouldn't say it's better or worse than previous weeks, but when the content is mainly being contributed by me, I am not 100% sure of its efficacy. :) I'm not even trying particularly hard for this; many of my recent questions are things that I have been wondering about for a long time but never got around to posting.

Personally - as somebody who has been asking several questions and placing several large bounties (ex.) - the main reason why I feel discouraged from asking questions is because I feel that it's unlikely for me to get answers. I don't mean this as a criticism of anybody, or of the site. It's just how it is. I suspect that some of the stuff I ask may be too niche, and we either don't have the correct people to answer, or the correct people are busy IRL (and I certainly don't blame them).

I'm just throwing it out there, but maybe we need to learn to walk before we can run. Maybe we should build up a good list of Q&As that comprehensively address undergrad-ish chemistry. Right now when 80% of the front page is high school stuff + poorly worded stuff, I feel out of place asking something and expecting a PhD/postdoc to answer it.

Personally I'll still post my questions as I like having them out there and (hopefully) they set a good example. But this is just one other direction I was thinking we could move in, in the short-term future.

• Time for chemistryoverflow.stackexchange.com ;) But seriously, I kind of agree– I find the homework/high-school stuff boring as hell here, but the really interesting stuff either struggles to get answers / just takes a long time to get any decent answers (not the worst thing in the world). Aug 19 '17 at 11:49
• Actually, I would be very interested in a chem version of MathOverflow. But I assume we don't have the people for that, (yet?). I would personally be happy to simply ban all high school and homework stuff, but obviously we cannot do that here, it is meant to be for all levels, and even if we change the site scope to specifically exclude high school, it will likely backfire. Interestingly enough Physics went through this several years ago. e.g. physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4337
– orthocresol Mod
Aug 19 '17 at 13:36
• We possibly don't have the people, but then again, we might not have those kind of people because we don't have those kind of questions.... I'm not sure if (or how to tell) what overlap of active users MathOverflow and Mathematics actually have. I suspect a large % of users here wouldn't want/be able to contribute to ChemOverflow (for the same reasons noted for questions not being answered here already). Aug 19 '17 at 14:20
• I think those more specific kinds of questions might, over time, draw those more specific kinds of answerers. I say go for it! If it goes unanswered, then it's just the same as if you'd never asked. If it does get answered, then bully for you!
– Melanie Shebel Mod
Aug 19 '17 at 19:38