Highlighted Selections from:

Case Study: Science, Medicine, Mathematics, and Technology Forums

National Digital Stewardship Alliance. “Case Study: Science, Medicine, Mathematics, and Technology Forums.” (Dec 2013): 1–3. Print.


Historical Value

  • The Public Record of Knowledge, Discovery and Innovation: Forums where professionals discuss topics record discussion between professionals. In the future these kinds of discussion forums will be invaluable records of interactions and communications between experts.
  • Science Communication: As a novel form of communication these forums represent part of a change in science communication. As such, having a record of the different forums in different contexts is valuable to record the history of science communication.
  • Public Understanding of Science: Many forums that bring together popular audiences offer a rare opportunity to collect and preserve discussions of science and science topics that can allow insight into public understanding and perspective on a range of science topics.

Example sites:

  • Stack Overflow: Massive online discussion forums for troubleshooting software programing issues
  • Math Overflow: Focused discussion space for mathematicians to help each other work through problems.
  • Science Forums: Broad and ranging discussion of science topics in more than 680,000 posts.
  • Forums devoted to science controversies: For example http://www.evcforum.net/Forums.php and http://www.antievolution.org/cgibin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi or for that mater parts of other forums, this anti-vax section on a mothering forum http://www.mothering.com/community/f/443/im-notvaccinating
  • Sporum: A discussion forum devoted to the video game Spore. As much of the game is about science topics much of the forums also involve discussion of science topics.
  • Galaxy Zoo Forums: Web forums for a popular citizen science project.

-- Highlighted may 4, 2014