The web is the Grand Oracle. It sees all and answers all. I wish we had the educational and self-learning edge it gives to today’s generation. In a snap, you can tap it to ask anything about the world we live in, and generally it is pretty accurate answering back. Perhaps, apart from the ‘question of life’ it can answer anything. Who knows, someone might come up with that answer too in due time. But for now, from the purely scientific point of view, you can ask away about life sciences…and all the associated disciplines.
We have our own platform for questions and answers [no longer available], and that’s where a reader asked us about some good websites on questions related to science, particularly physics and chemistry? He got the help he needed. Perhaps, with the help of this post and the seven websites mentioned here, you will too.
My colleague Tim started off the discussion with How Stuff Works. Anyone who has used the service knows that if you want to really cure your curiosity about the world around you, the basics here are of great help. Sometimes to satiate my own thirst for knowledge, I click on the Random button, which serves up interesting articles which otherwise I wouldn’t dream of reading. Like – How do you mask your scent while you hunt? The categories cover nearly everything, but read deeply and you will see that most of them have a scientific basis. I would recommend that you check out their Tools section and give an ear to their podcasts.
The URL reads, “last word”. And as the tagline says, it is the place where you can ask questions about everyday things. You can search for anything without logging in, but if you want to ask a question, do the free registration and fire away. New Scientist is a forum for anyone who has a scientific curiosity, kids included. From how to fossilize your hamster to your queries on the Hadron Collider, the whole sweep is covered. Then, if you want to fill your appetite, go to the main New Scientist site and read away.
The site resembles the ones we used to browse through during the early days of the web, and every second site had frames. But it is not the look that counts here but the answers. 36,000 answered questions sounds quite a lot. The Mad Sci Network could just about be your playground if you like all the little ‘n strange things about science. All questions are graded and range from K-3 to professorial levels. Answers are detailed and contributed by other members. The MadSci FAQs arranges answers to some commonly asked questions. Your best tool for going through the site is the search engine – the MadSci Circumnavigator. Other pages of interest – the MadSci Laboratory and Ask-A-Scientist where you can seek more answers.
Stack Exchange needs little introduction. We have probably covered this Q&A site in every article on the subject. It is a network of specialized communities, each on separate subjects that probably cover the gamut of human experience. There are around 89 of them completely contributory. The above link takes you to the Science side of things. Then, you can start your own if you think that something is missing. All answers are rated, so the good ones are culled out on top.
That’s just one of the sub-Reddits I have linked to. Do I need to tell you about Reddit and the community it has spawned? Well, if I have to then I should direct you to our Reddit Guide . For those in the know, Reddit can probably answer all your science questions as there are sub-Reddits on every branch of science. Try out Homework Help and don’t forget to go to the main Science section for some fascinating memes.
This is one of the last places you would come to in search of science answers, because well…it’s a newspaper. But we tend to forget that newspapers have had Q&A columns for ages, and NYT has probably had them before that. It is one of the world’s more popular news publications and the Science Q&A page gives you a slice of that. Here it is all collected. I don’t think you will find top-quality answers to questions like Can Melanoma Survivors Donate Their Organs or When an E-Reader Is Loaded With Books, Does It Gain Weight anywhere else. As the footer says – you can submit questions by mail or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wolfram Alpha is a unique website and a very powerful one. It is a computational engine which accepts plainspeak instead of arcane mathematical queries. We have covered Wolfram Alpha in some detail. The good thing is that you can throw any question at it which has a mathematical or physical answer, and it usually gives you the data on it. Oh yes, go ahead ask what is life too!
Hopefully, your scientific spirit will not ebb away even after getting all your answers. The future of the world depends on it. If you have any other questions besides the physics of black holes or the double helix of DNA, check out the other Q & A posts we have covered:
- Create Your Own Niche Q&A Site With Qhub
- 3 Sites to Get Your Medical Questions Answered by Experts for Free
- 5 Different Q&A Websites You Can Put Your Questions To & Get Answers
- 6 Fresh Crowdsourced Sites For Learning And Sharing Knowledge
- 6 Twitter Web Apps to Ask Questions From a Twitter Crowd
Which scientific website do you walk to get your doubts and queries cleared? Are they on this list?
Image Credit: chemistry teacher writing via Shutterstock