This question was encouraged by @ChuckSherrington in relation to the question "What regulates the strength of motoric signals?".
The on- or off-topicness of neurobiology questions has been actively debated in the past in a series of meta posts dating back to 2012, most notably "Splitting up questions on neurobiology between cognitivesciences.se and biology.se?" and "Neurobiology Rivalries, part IV, A New Hope?" and "Are questions about neurobiology on or off topic?". Not disregarding the valuable ideas discussed there, it may be time to revive this discussion, as both CogSci and Biology have evolved since.
The motivation for this question (discussion really) is basically because of a series of over 10 close-votes on Neuroscience-related questions I initiated recently. Being a neuroscientist I regretted to close-vote some of them, notably "What regulates the strength of motoric signals?", as it is a good question and potentially answerable (I may do so actually, I retracted my close-vote on retrospect after discussion).
The thing is, various statistics on Area51 substantially improve when lingering, unanswered questions are closed. Most notably the %Answered and Answer ratio. Both are rated as "okay" at the time of this writing and could be improved by closing off-topic questions that will likely never be answered. At Biology.SE pretty aggressive closure strategies have resulted in both parameters becoming excellent. Although it may have tipped over to too aggressive close-voting to my opinion, Bio.SE has been cleaned up nicely since.
So, as others have been initiating a few closure sprees for themselves here at CogSci, I have done so in my area of expertise; Neuroscience. Many of these questions were themselves of good quality, but I close-voted because they were more suitable for Bio.SE (admittedly, many were too old to migrate). The close-votes were inspired mainly because of the very slim chance they would ever be answered here at CogSci.SE.
Some of these questions were put on hold pretty much instantly, such as "How does de-myelination occur in multiple sclerosis?" and "Diagram of the peripheral nervous system of different animals?". Indeed, both question have no cognitive aspect in it whatsoever and were pretty straightforward close-targets, apparently for others as well. However, as of now, in the same vote-for-closure-spree there were "What are the brain regions related to tinnitus shown in this figure?" and "What are the smallest neurons ever identified?", and these remain open as of now. Given the closure dynamics of CogSci.SE I strongly suspect these questions to remain open. Although the tinnitus question has a distant cognitive aspect given the question title, the question itself is solely about brain structure identification, which is neuro-anatomy (a more biological question is hard to imagine). The second, however, is pure histology and more die-hard Bio than anything I have seen here at CogSci. Given that the other peer reviewers have close-voted the "diagram of peripheral nervous systems", why would a (sorry to say - poorly researched) question on the histological aspect of small neurons be left open? Admittedly, I in fact tried to answer this question. But apart from some iffy wikipedia articles cross-referencing each other mentioning a subset of small cerebellar neurons being the smallest, there is nothing to be found in then scientific literature (afaik). It will never be answered.
Regardless of these specific illustrative examples, what it boils down to is:
- What to do with Neurobiological questions?
and more broadly and more specifically to the situation just described:
- What to do with questions with a strong Biology flavor that will likely never be answered?