This has been brought up many times in chat: Many other sites have regularly scheduled chat events. These events, held anywhere from once a week to once a month, serve as a community building device, a way for members to get to know each other and to drive more users to chat and to the site in general.

Some events other sites have are:

I feel it would be valuble to start a similar chat event here on CogSci. What are some topics we feel would be good to cover? Please list one topic per answer. That way, we can select the highest voted topic each time.

UPDATE: We clearly have a number of people interested in this. Unfortunately I have been so busy with work that I have not been able to lead an event like this myself yet. As the busy season for my business dies down I will be able to find time to help with this. Alternatively, if a member of the community is willing to volunteer to lead the chat, I certainly am available to sit in and make sure a ♦ moderator is present to assist if necessary.

  • 3
    Great idea. I think chat needs a little more exposure in the main interface. I think chat serves a great community building function. May 23, 2012 at 23:30
  • This is a great idea. Let's get this thing going ASAP!
    – Speldosa
    Jun 25, 2012 at 8:33

8 Answers 8


Journal Club chat - someone picks an open access paper and gives notice ahead of time, discussion ensues.

  • 1
    I like this. I'd like to read more, I just never know what to pick.
    – Matt Ellen
    May 23, 2012 at 17:37
  • 1
    I already run a journal club at the interface of evolutionary game theory, networks, and cognition. I can announce relevant papers when they come up and discuss them with people in chat... but we are not always open source, and sometimes not relevant to cogsci. May 23, 2012 at 22:57

A scheduled chat event to produce a community-wiki answer to one of the hard to answer questions on our site.

(I think TeX.SE has something similar)

  • 1
    Nice idea, I love it!
    – Josh
    May 24, 2012 at 4:11

This is close to Artem's idea, but I happened across Computer Science's advertisement (via their mod Raphael) for their event here.

Our ratio of unanswered questions has risen to uncomfortable levels (over 10%). So let's meet next

Saturday, June 16th, around 11am CEST¹ in our chat to check out unanswered questions and collaboratively

  • answer,
  • improve or
  • close them.

Maybe we will even create some follow-up questions.

So, it's sort of an amalgam of a few of the ideas that we had been talking about anyway, and it covers unanswered questions, which is something that we need to address eventually.


Here's a one-off idea: Introduction Chat. We make an event to introduce ourselves, say what brings us to Cog Sci and our interest in the field.


A major consideration in any chat event are for timezones - as far as I can tell, we have members from the US to Australia and everywhere in between - that is a lot of time differences. Regional based chat events may not be as effective or useful - but weekends may be an option.


MindHacks chat - we could discuss a current topic from their blog.


Critique a question, new or old.

A user could be selected, and could choose one of their own existing questions or one they are planning on asking, or a random question could be chosen and critiqued.

Criteria such as wording, formatting, references chosen (or lack thereof), could come into play (with any criticism directed at the post only, by rule). Final edits could be applied by the original author, and a mod message indicating "This was critiqued and edited by the community in chat on (date)" could be applied.

  • 1
    Although the spirit of this is good (as I read: promoting better questions and wording existing questions better), I don't think it is possible to do this without hostility on the internet. Also, typically the posts that can benefit most from critiques, are ones with users that would probably not participate in chat. I would be very cautious of such a regular event. Jun 11, 2012 at 14:10

Autism; what it is, what recent discoveries are being made.

This might be too broad of a topic, we might have to break it down into smaller chunks, but it's receiving a lot of attention as diagnoses increase.

  • 2
    maybe if we attract the Autism proposal first. There are not all that many questions about it on our site. I would definitely have nothing to contribute to a discussion on this topic, and probably wouldn't attend. Jun 7, 2012 at 0:47
  • 1
    That was part of my thinking @Artem -- it might be a great way to draw new users in.
    – Josh
    Jun 7, 2012 at 11:42
  • 1
    I'm not a big abnormal psych guy but I could poke my head in if we did this
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 7, 2012 at 23:43

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