June 1, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 11)
Strong Points: Great way to share information
Weak Points: High noise to signal in places
The “ask a scientist” sites are very popular. In them, nonscientists pose questions to “actual scientists” and get answers about technical topics in a language they can understand. Scientist Solutions turns this idea on its ear, with scientists asking fellow scientists questions of their own. As you might imagine, these are not “Why is the sky blue” questions. Instead, they usually involve inquiries about the “techie” kinds of things scientists are usually stereotyped by, such as “Are there any noncommercial sources for pathway images such as kegg (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathways out there?” The replies are to the point, often humorous, and informative as well. This is a great way for scientists to share knowledge and is a URL every scientist should bookmark. You never know when you might need it.