Looking at the tags in this stack exchange, many are psychology and many are neuroscience. As somebody who does research in neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, and neurology, it would have never occurred to me to look for a stack exchange whose name did not include "neuro", "brain" or "psych". I couldn't find the policy on stack exchange for changing the name of a beta exchange, or whether anybody else would be interested. I think the popularity of this exchange could be significantly greater if the name were changed to something like "Brain Sciences". What do other people here think?


1 Answer 1


I share your concerns. This topic was very actively discussed in the early days of the site. See the name tag on meta.

In summary, the site proposal emerged from Area 51 as a combination of three proposals:

  • Cognitive Science
  • Psychology
  • Psychology and Psychiatry

I think many people on this site would have preferred alternative names that emphasised their disciplinary interest. For example, I would have preferred something like "Psychology and Cognitive Science" or even "Psychological Sciences".

A range of more general site names have also been proposed like:

  • Mind
  • Mind and Brain
  • Mind, Brain, and Behavior
  • Brain and Behaviour Sciences

and so on (see this discussion). Perhaps they are better, but they also have their issues.

More generally, changing site names is a big deal. URLs change; value in the existing brand gets reduced.

The current site name is probably not perfect, but any alternative would have to have a very compelling case, and would have to receive a very large ground swell of support from users of the site. So far, any time this has been attempted, such a case has not been mounted sufficiently to persuade most users of the site, let alone, the people who run StackExchange.

Overall, I think we have endeavoured to communicate the coverage of the site by

  1. Having a site name which is relatively inclusive (e.g., "sciences" plural)
  2. Having a descriptive blurb that incorporate the major disciplines that are covered
  3. Using the questions and tags on the site to speak to what content is allowed


Justas reminded me that we have a main thread for voting for alternative names. Thus, if you think an alternative name would be better there, then you should definitely give your vote for your preference.

What should we change the name of our site to, if anything?

  • 2
    i see your point, its a good one. it seems to me that something like "Mind and Brain (Sciences)" would be the most general. i guess an issue is that the people who are actively using this exchange perhaps only represent a very small fraction of those who might, if it were named something different, because those of us who don't do cogsci would never look here. for example, we are about to launch a new MOOC specialization on neuroimaging. if there were an exchange on mind and brain, i would direct questions there. but since we are not doing any cogsci in the mooc, we won't direct them here
    – jovo
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 1:23
  • Voting isn't really useful without some idea of how many votes it would take to move further, especially when the situation has virtually always been "lots of votes for alternatives, virtually no votes for the status quo, still no action." Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 11:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .