Disclaimer: I came from hot network posts and I have zero experience here.

That said, the post in question is Is it Better For Me to Study Chemistry or Physics?

In most other sites I observed, none would accept this sort of tangential questions, which also happens to be opinion based.

This is not to say it should also be the case here, but I find it highly unusual and would like to highlight it for discussion.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I don't see any problem, even being an opinion based question. I think that the Matter Modeling is the right site to ask/answer this questions due to the concentration of researchers in the area. Other SE community like Physics, Chem, don't necessarily have people researching in this area (or not in the same number). But, look, this is also an opinion. $\endgroup$
    – Camps Mod
    Jan 6, 2021 at 11:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Academia.SE takes opinion based questions all the time, such as "should I get a letter of reference from someone famous that doesn't know me well or someone not famous that knows me well" $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2021 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer: this is my personal opinion on this, rather than a statement on what site policy is or should be. That will likely evolve as more users chime in here and as the site grows.

I think as asked, it's not a great fit for the SE format. The opinion part I actually don't mind too much; I think there is an important distinction between questions/answers that are just asserting how people feel and Q&A that is focused on a concrete problem but requires answers that are not entirely objective.

My main concern is how "specialized" the question. The OP lists their grades, skills, and various opinions about the subjects and asks for what would fit them best. In principle, future users couldn't make much use of the question as the answers could vary for their particular set of grades, skills, etc.

My preference would have been if the question was phrased more generally as something like "What degree/course of study is best to pursue a career in material science?" and limit the amount of personal detail about OP. This would make the question more beneficial to a general audience and the OP could still include some details about their specific case (e.g. aiming towards nanomaterials rather than ceramics).

However, I don't think there is any need to close or significantly alter the question at this point. While I think the phrasing of the question is too specific to OP, the answers do a very nice job of giving general responses that are both useful to the OP and future readers. My main concern from earlier is also only a hypothetical at this point, as this is one of the first questions of this kind that we have had. If we had a glut of such questions clogging the main page, we would maybe need to tailor a more strict policy towards them, but, as things are, I don't think this question is harmful to have on the site and it seems like it could be useful to more users than just the OP.


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