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Type of site
Available in English
Founder(s) spez[1]
Website www.reddit.com/r/science
Commercial Yes
Users ~17.3 million subscribers(as of July 2017)[2]
Launched October 18, 2006; 11 years ago (2006-10-18)[1]

r/science, formally dubbed the New Reddit Journal of Science, is an Internet forum on Reddit where the community of participants discuss science topics.[3] A popular feature of the forum is "Ask me Anything" (AMA) public discussions.[3] As of 2014, /r/science attracted 30,000-100,000 visitors per day, making it the largest community-managed science forum and an attractive place to host discussions.[3]


Nathan Allen speaks about /r/science to the American Chemical Society

Nathan Allen[edit]

Nathan Allen is an American chemist. While working as a chemist at Dow Chemical Company, Allen began to imagine that scientists could use Reddit's "ask me anything" (AMA) interview format to create discussions between scientists and the public.[3] Allen became a forum moderator there and has since been prominent in guiding the culture of the community there and as a spokesperson for the forum.[3]

Establishment of AMA series[edit]

As of 2014, /r/science attracted 30,000–100,000 visitors per day, making it the largest community-managed science forum and an attractive place to host discussions.[3] In January 2014 Allen began the /r/science AMA series with the goal of raising the visibility of scientists who are producing groundbreaking work in their fields but who are not well known outside of their fields.[3][4] Outgoing links posted in the forum must go to peer-reviewed science articles published within the last six months.[5]

The discussion series was instantly a success, and established the world's largest two-way discussion between scientists and the public.[3] Allen does most of the organization for the talks, including soliciting scientists to participate and training them to communicate in reddit's discussion format.[3]

Featured content[edit]

/r/science has an ongoing content partnership with PLOS.[6] As an academic journal, PLOS invites authors who are publishing scientific papers to publicly present their work in /r/science and to participate in community "ask me anything" discussions in the forum at scheduled times.[6]

Editorial decisions[edit]

Editorial decisions in /r/science are made by the moderators who themselves follow rules that they present for the forum.[5] If new rules are introduced then those are discussed with the community of readers.[5] Rules for /r/science include guidance that contributors keep discussion on-topic and thoughtful.[5]

Allen led the decision to ban discussion in /r/science which gives credibility to climate change denial as a scientific concept.[7] Commentators from National Geographic,[8] The New American,[9] ThinkProgress,[10] and other media outlets discussed this editorial decision.


  1. ^ a b "/r/science". Reddit. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ "/r/science metrics". Reddit Metrics. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Owens, Simon (7 October 2014). "The World's Largest 2-Way Dialogue between Scientists and the Public". Scientific American. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Allen, Nathan (21 January 2014). "Announcing the /r/science AMA Series". Reddit.com. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Owens, Simons (14 April 2015). "Should Reddit's powerful mods be reined in?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Costello, Victoria (15 April 2015). "Ask our authors anything: new PLOS 'AMA' series debuts on redditscience". PLOS. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  7. ^ Allen, Nathan (16 December 2013). "Reddit's science forum banned climate deniers. Why don't all newspapers do the same?". Grist. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Lee, Jane J. (20 December 2013). "Reddit Science's Ban on Climate Change Denial Posts Rears Its Head Again". National Geographic. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  9. ^ Jasper, William F. (24 December 2013). "Reddit Joins LA Times in Banning Skeptics from Climate "Debate"". The New American. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  10. ^ Atkin, Emily (17 December 2013). "Why Reddit's Science Forum Banned Climate Deniers". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 

External links[edit]