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Articles by Nathan Allen

Nathan Allen is a PhD chemist for a major chemical company, and the opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the position of his company. He also is a volunteer moderator of reddit.com/r/science.

Featured Article

In addition to my career as a PhD chemist, I am one of a select few who enjoy the privilege of moderating content on reddit.com’s science forum. The science forum is a small part of reddit, but it nonetheless enjoys over 4 million subscribers. By comparison, that’s roughly twice the circulation of The New York Times.

The forum, known as /r/science, provides a digital space for discussions about recent, peer-reviewed scientific publications. This puts us (along with /r/AskScience) on the front line of the science-public interface. On our little page, scientists and nonscientists can connect through discussions on everything from subatomic particles to interstellar astrophysics.

As a moderator of this discussion, I’ve observed scientific discourse across a wide variety of disciplines. I consider it a microcosm, representative of the vast range of views that can be supported by empirical evidence. Importantly, it provides the same window for those who are not scientists, who do not regularly talk with PhDs, and who may be unfamiliar with how science is discussed by scientists. In essence, it is a window into the Ivory Tower.

Given that our users are mainl... Read more