I want to move some of the Area 51 discussion here: https://area51.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/31121/discussion-about-the-name-for-materials-matter-modeling

Is it still possible to change the name of the site? There seems to be a pretty clear consensus, both in the previous post and the questions asked so far, that molecular modeling is a topic we want to include on the same footing as materials modeling.

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    $\begingroup$ Another way to phrase this question is: Are we potentially losing a lot of our desired user base by leaving out people who work on the same topics but "identify" as being "molecular modelers" rather than "materials modelers"? To that question, my answer would be: Yes. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2020 at 3:38
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    $\begingroup$ To me (newbie), "material modeling" includes "molecular modeling" between others, but this could be an heresy for experts. In consequence, there is no plus-value in making the name longer. I would suggest instead, to clearly identify as accepted such questions in the "Tour" page. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2020 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ There are other places to make the scope clear, for example, the description of scope on the Tour page (as Adrian mentioned), which is also used for new users in the banner, and on the full site list, which (once y'all reach public beta) will read "Q&A for materials modelers and data scientists". There may be a better way to phrase this, so let us know. $\endgroup$
    – Catija
    Apr 29, 2020 at 7:09
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    $\begingroup$ I think it's a serious question. Many of the molecular questions seem like they would be at home on Chem.SE. So I think discussion is needed to clarify the scope vs. Chem.SE and Physics.SE. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2020 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ See materials.meta.stackexchange.com/a/105/142 $\endgroup$ May 26, 2020 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ Just a comment here: I think it was a bad idea to change Materials Modeling to Matter Modeling... It's a bit strange... I'm not sure what is the reason and I don't see why Materials Modeling is changed though... Although this SE is already extremely overwhelmed by computational chemistry questions that I think it's better to rename it computational chemistry or DFT SE... $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2020 at 4:01
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    $\begingroup$ @AloneProgrammer I don't know what to tell you. A lot of users (myself included) wanted the site to have a fairly general scope of modeling questions. There was another meta discussion (mattermodeling.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/96/…) about the actual choice of name and I never saw a post from you there voicing this concern. The fact that even with the name "Material Modeling" most of the user were comp chem people suggests that we were going to need a broader scope for the site to grow. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Jul 7, 2020 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


I would prefer "Computational materials modeling", for the reasons I presented elsewhere (How does this site differ from the Chemistry.SE?):

I would see the site dropping in nicely alongside physics.se and chemistry.se. Computational materials science, including both solid state physics and quantum chemistry, is the third cornerstone of modern science. Experiments and theory have been complemented by simulations. The name of the site could maybe be adjusted to clarify this: I would prefer having the word "computational" somewhere in there.

The real nice thing about this is that the site already seems to have attracted people from both chemistry and physics, and both the molecular and crystalline side of things. This is a very good sign for the future.

"Materials modeling" is a bit ambiguous, whereas I see that this is really about computational chemistry and physics.

  • $\begingroup$ It might be better to move this response (with some slight modification) to here: materials.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/96/…. At the moment, this should be where the definitive discussion of the site name is occurring. Some of the key concerns mentioned there are 1. Some people feel excluded by materials 2. The site name can't be much longer than it already is. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    May 26, 2020 at 14:32

As a semi-active user in Chem.SE, I would suggest that this site try to develop a scope distinct from "molecular modeling." I understand full well that there's some level of overlap.

The reason I supported the proposal was that "materials modeling" does not have a good Q&A forum, whereas I think there are several good ones for "molecular calculations" including Chemistry.SE.

So my personal opinion is that the site should focus on materials - a broad enough topic as-is, and migrate more molecular questions to Chem.SE.

  • $\begingroup$ Since I see some Chem.SE users here, including some Moderators, I hope they'll weigh in. $\endgroup$ May 1, 2020 at 23:47
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    $\begingroup$ I'm a noob in chemistry SE but I disagree that Chem SE is good for molecular modeling. As far as I can tell technical software question is discouraged on Chemistry SE. On the other hand this site is trying to do all things modeling. Therefore the difference in size of the system is less important. Clearly conceptual questions about chemistry should go to chemistry SE even if they are about materials. But modeling matters would be more welcome here, particularly because package specific tags are being made. $\endgroup$
    – Cody Aldaz
    May 2, 2020 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think either forum is a good one for specific software questions - and I've answered specific software questions. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2020 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe the latter would be better addressed here materials.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/38/…. $\endgroup$
    – Cody Aldaz
    May 2, 2020 at 0:48
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    $\begingroup$ As mentioned above, Materials is broad and work still needs to be done here. However, we must build community for that. I majored in neither chemistry or physics, but "nanotechnology". The Materials Modeling SE will be a good forum for a multidisciplinary community that is born from the overlap that exists between chemistry and physics. I pretty much learned programming form Stack Overflow, TeX, and now people will begin to exchange views on Materials Modeling. I have seen recent materials papers where both molecular and periodic DFT are used, and I believe these overlaps will be triumphant! $\endgroup$
    – epalos
    May 2, 2020 at 8:01
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    $\begingroup$ I do agree with you in general that materials should be the focus here. However, I don't wish to get questions migrated away from here, some overlap is good. I wouldn't know where to draw the line anyway. As a moderator at chemistry.se, I do not wish to deal with migration (like never). If the community is so inclined, the may leave a comment explaining 'manual migration (i.e. delete & re-ask)'. I always hoped to see more good molecular modeling questions on Chemistry.se -- and I will still encourage them, but I am totally okay with them being asked here instead. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2020 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ I might have missed this answer by Geoff entirely. I remember commenting on @GeoffHutchison's answer about software questions, but it seems I haven't commented at all on this one. It seems from Martin's comment that molecular questions won't be migrated to ChemSE, and Etienne & Cody want Molecular modeling questions to be here (not just any molecular question, but ones specifically to do with modeling, since there's a "higher concentration" of modeling people here that would see the question), so I don't have too much to add. One thing might be this recent answer by a Community Manager $\endgroup$ May 9, 2020 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ on the Drones SE (the most recent site to enter Beta, before our site did): drones.meta.stackexchange.com/a/138/3. She seems to be saying that migrations will not happen just because something is on topic in two places. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2020 at 0:29

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