From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is a table of non-included items (some relevant to other articles or with non-inclusion rationales)

Monthly Science Summary images based on this list

I'm making monthly Science Summary infographics based on this list. More information in the talk-page post here.

I'm also making German versions of these images and created the two German articles (with a different structure that has 3 subsections for each month like those infographics and lots of redlinks) for 2019 and 2020 (there's a RfD for those now so they might get deleted soon). The images and these articles might also be relevant to some ways this list could potentially be improved in the future.

Links and stats for the English version:

Month Image & sources Clicks
January Reddit post with sources
February Reddit post with sources
March Reddit post with sources
April Reddit post with sources 145,331 views on imgur
May Reddit post with sources
June Reddit post with sources

Thanks to everyone contributing to this list.

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 23:31, 19 February 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Why aren't the images located next to their entries?

Is there some reason why the images aren't located right next to the entries? Some are above and some below their entries. I guess this should be fixed for all years.

I suggest adding them after the bullet point of an entry like so:

* [[File:SARS-CoV-2 without background.png|thumb|right|200px|31 January: Scientists report an overview of the China [[coronavirus]] ([[2019-nCoV]]) [[2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak|outbreak]].<ref name="NYT-20200131"/><ref name="CDC-20200130" /><ref name="WHO-20200130" />]]31 January – Scientists report [...]

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 23:31, 19 February 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

It's a consequence of how images are included in articles in general. Add too many and they move down. -- mfb ( talk) 23:45, 19 February 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I'd suggest making it a table then. This would also have some other advantages beyond images being next to their entries and not overflowing to the next month's section. But I guess there should be a separate section for it - so let's discuss that below.
Here's how it looks when all the images are included at the top of the section and here's how it looks when they're right next to their entries as suggested.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 00:46, 1 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Should the list be converted into a table?

Should we convert it into a table? This would have many advantages:

  • Images would be next to their entries and not overflow to the next month's section (see previous section). This way we could add more images or even an image for every entry.
  • Columns could be sortable and machine-readable. For instance there could be a column for the (main) field/s of research of an entry (such as "Astronomy"). Later versions of this page or separate websites could then make better use of this data and the table could be sorted. For instance people might want to view all entries for a specific field of research, a specific research topic or only a few major entries per month:
  • Over time there could also be new columns such as:
    • some that help discern the significance of a new finding by some criteria (I'd suggest something along the lines of significance overall - not within research-field - by criteria of: useful / meaningful / popular, conclusive, new knowledge) and/or expert-ratings
    • a list of recurrent topics (similar to fields of research but e.g. "extraterrestrial life" and "Venus" for entry #3 of January)
    • type(s) of scientific endeavor such as "simulation", "projection", "scientific modelling", "empirical" ,/ "observation/data", "instrument-development", "product-development", ...
    • there could also be columns for the Universities / companies / researcher-teams / sponsors / countries of new discoveries/developments.
  • (Putting things into columns might also allow shorter texts or a short and a long text for an entry, similar to how texts in the image captions are short (hence multiple length layers e.g. from very short and short at the list and the paper-abstract to mid at the news article and long at the full paper).)
  • (There could also be different row colors or icons (maybe toggleable) for e.g. the different endeavor-types.)

Examples of how it could look like with some potential functionalities include List of largest exoplanets#The List and these tables of non-included items.

There are various problems with Wikipedia tables and a list / bullet-point layout may indeed be best but could get some new features like inline filterable tags (e.g. for scientific fields).

For example:

Date Finding Image Research field Topic Lead by Category
3 January Astronomers report evidence that suggests that the planet Venus is currently volcanically active, and the residue from such activity may be a potential source of nutrients for possible microorganisms in the Venusian atmosphere, according to researchers.{refs} Maat Mons on Venus.jpg
A computer rendering of the roughly 8 km high Venusian volcano Maat Mons (vertical scale has been exaggerated)
Astronomy, Biology, Planetary science Extraterrestrial life, Venus Universities Space Research Association 1
24 January For the first time, scientists discover mitochondria existing in human blood that are not part of larger cells. Biology Mitochondria, Discovery 1
27 January Scientists from Michigan State University and Stanford University demonstrate a "Trojan horse" designer- nanoparticle that makes blood cells eat away – from the inside out – portions of atherosclerotic plaque that cause heart attacks Biology Nanotechnology Medicine Nanomedicine 1
28 January A new study finds that many of Earth's biodiverse ecosystems are in danger of collapse. The study mapped over 100 high-risk ecosystems and habitats in specific locations, and noted the highly detrimental patterns in each one that result from climate change and local human activities. Ecology Ecosystems, Climate change, Earth system 1

Another example can be found at: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2020-03-29/Traffic report, it looks like this:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic 7,645,103
SARS-CoV-2 without background.png
Early 2020 bears the burden of a multinational pandemic caused by the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The page for the pandemic in particular is receiving so many views that WMFLabs' ever-useful Pageviews Anaylsis tool shows that all through this month there was never a day below 400k visitors... oh dear.
2 Coronavirus 2,749,576
Coronaviruses 004 lores.jpg
The term 'Coronavirus' is a surprisingly broad one – it simply means any virus in a family which causes problems in mammals and birds. The Coronavirus family ranges from near-harmless common cold causers, to the one you see in the news – Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2--to the hulking (not literally), spree-slaying Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, which, in its 2012 outbreak, presented victims with a ~35% chance of dying. The Coronaviruses are so named because of their peculiar spikes, called peplomers, which create an illusion of a corona when viewed under an electron microscope.
3 Spanish flu 2,648,537
The Spanish flu was a flu pandemic that occurred from 1918 to 1920. One of the deadliest epidemics in recorded human history, the Spanish flu took place during a time when information was possibly being censored because of the war effort at the time. As for afterward, I don't know. All this censoring (which, by the way, was meant to keep morale up) left neutral country Spain as basically the only hard-hit country that took pains to accurately report infections – and so the pandemic was named after Spain (because countries thought Spain was the epicentre of the outbreak).

Probably improvements to the Wikimedia software / tables could also improve it further so that it's easier to read and better adjusts to screens (right now the columns on the right are cut off).

What do you think about converting this list and – if possible – all earlier ones into tables?

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 00:46, 1 March 2020 (UTC) (second table-example added: -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 14:21, 7 April 2020 (UTC)) Reply reply

That would make the list much longer and we would end up with a lot of empty space when an image is added. -- mfb ( talk) 04:47, 1 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Thanks for your comment and explaining what you wouldn't like about it. I don't think it would make the list much longer - it depends on how wide your screen is and how wide we make those table columns. But it wouldn't be much of a problem if the list becomes longer: it wouldn't be more text, just more scrolling. But scrolling shouldn't be a problem and limiting the width of the text this way actually makes it easier to read. This is also why most websites usually don't use the full width of the screen to display text. For empty space if an image is added we could simply try to aim to fill the available space of a table cell so that there's no empty space in the description-cell. But empty space shouldn't be a problem: that's simply the issue of scrolling.
I'll keep improving the table-example here. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 18:17, 27 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
The main problem is that currently tables don't really have mobile support. They are basically unreadable on mobile. This needs to be resolved asap then it could be made a table if people here are okay with that then. Please comment if you know of a way to convert the list to a table without excluding people using mobile from being able to read the article.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 14:21, 7 April 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Suggested MediaWiki software changes before converting the list to a table (tasks on phabricator)

As explained above and explained further in sections further down ( #Original page format better - or not? and #Sublists) there are some Wikimedia software issues that probably should be resolved before the list could get converted to a table. I have suggested these tasks at phabricator:

There may be some more relevant or necessary tasks. Imo the most important and only absolutely necessary one would be making tables properly viewable on mobile (#1 above).

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 20:30, 20 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

List of entries to include

This section is for a list of entries editors plan to include in the article or think are important for other editors to include.

Month unclear (done)

  • Open-source ventilator, this spans over multiple months / there are many different developments; I added a link to it to the See also section
    • CERN also created an open licensed ventilator, it was reported in April and is currently not included in the list linked above. This should be added to the Open-source ventilator article instead.
Month unclear (0)
January (done)
January (5)
February (done)
February (8)

March (done)

March (6)

April (done)
April (2)

May (done)

May (3)
June (done)
June (2)
July (done)
July (0)

I'm using cases around entries if I'm not sure whether I'll add them, or whether they should be added. In general I only add items which a) I b) at some point c) considered either to be at least Category-2 items per the criteria below to the list above and to the article or at least a notable, good Category-3 entry of only a short sentence or so. I encourage other editors to comment on what they think about the entries, especially the ones in the list above in cases.

Please move items into the (done) section/template if you or somebody else added them to the list and increase the number of items if you add suggestions.

Note: sometimes reports come out only long after the study has been published or at least only the month after. The items are added to the months when the study was publicized so sometimes the report might have been to late for early inclusion.

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 23:51, 9 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
09:56, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
18:23, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
21:14, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
14:21, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
15:46, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
10:49, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
09:14, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
09:39, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
10:50, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
12:22, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
22:33, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
23:00, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
12:07, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
15:43, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
16:44, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 23:36, 5 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

The relativity one should get more attention before we add it here. This looks like some obscure pet project of the authors to me. will report about everything, this doesn't indicate notability. -- mfb ( talk) 11:47, 14 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Yes, it probably needs somebody – or preferably multiple people – who sufficiently understand/s it and can describe it in a way that also makes its notability clear enough. I'm not sure why it looks like "some obscure pet project of the authors" to you and what that entails for you for its notability. It's about topics of large interest – mainly how to reconcile quantum mechanics and special relativity. This is comparable to the topic of dark matter and that's probably relevant to your claim of it being "obscure". I think it would be very strange if found to be true. As somebody commented on this: "And ironically, this seemingly exotic hypothesis points toward elegant simplicity in the solution".
There are also some other sources reporting about it. Apparently it has "20751 Total downloads" which are a lot if those weren't bots and if it's not an error or something similar. On it has gotten almost 2000 shares which are quite many. Both indicate a sufficient popularity – this doesn't strengthen the study in any way: it just indicates that a) many people are interested in it b) many people have read about it. Both are further reasons for why the study is at least somewhat notable.
I have asked about this at the talk page of Relativistic quantum mechanics.
I won't add it to the list and with the talk page post there I consider it done on my part. It's more of a March item anyway as it was published on 24 March 2020 - I moved it to the March section above. These are the two reasons for why I wouldn't consider it worthy any long further discussion. (But I do hope that somebody else adds it.)
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 17:39, 14 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Inclusion criteria and routine addition of entries (e.g. of weekly science reviews)

I think it would be useful to gradually develop some formal inclusion criteria for which items can be included in the list.

This list of proposed criteria can also be found in a dedicated separate page here: editor/Year in science/Inclusion criteria.

  • There's too many studies that have news reports to add all of them here.
  • And too many entries make it hard to discern what's been a significant development in terms of:
    • progress within a field or research question of varying usefulness/... or
    • practicable usefulness or
    • importance or
    • degree of news coverage / popularity
    • the "novelty" (compared to previous studies/knowledge) and "unexpectedness" of the conclusions/findings (to the public and the scientific field)
    • this is mostly related to the criteria of importance and practical usefulness:
      • the permanence of the subject being studied and/or the study/its conclusions
      • the number of people affected by the subject studied and/or the study/its conclusions
      • the degree of affectedness by the subject studied and/or the study/its conclusions
It also makes the list take longer to read. Many are only interested in the most significant findings and/or specific topics or fields.
This problem can be resolved by converting the list to table ( see section above) and adding topics and categories or by subdividing sections into three or more subsections like in the former German articles.
The formal inclusion criteria could be criteria for the different categories. Some items would be excluded from the list entirely and some would be excluded e.g. from category 1 and 2.
  • Maybe people would like to add an entry but aren't sure if it's appropriate to add to the list: clear criteria to check against would make it easier for them.

I would suggest the following criteria for a start:

  • The entry has to include at least one wikilink to an existing or possible article to contain the information of the entry. If the list is converted to a table there could be a column that only contains the wikilinks to the articles that include the information once they do. (Moreover it would be good to link all the articles the new study/finding is relevant to in the entry.)
  • The finding has to have at least one news report by a reputable/reliable source.
  • If the finding / the conclusions are controversial the criticism should be explained in the entry.
  • Category-1 items are major in at least 2 of the 4 roughly defined criteria above. ("Importance" and "usefulness" are roughly evaluated in terms of the degree of known and potential impact on number of people (including in the future) or environment or alike as well as the degree of completion of an usable product or data/knowledge.)
  • Category-1 items exclude new measurements / data that don't bring any new conclusions like significantly supporting or weakening a major theory or showing that something previously unknown exists.
  • Category-1 items exclude findings that only support a theory that's already very established and the other way around.
  • Category-1 items (usually) exclude items which can be adequately written in the short text available for Category-2 items.
  • Category-1 items can exclude items if there recently was a very similar item in Category-1 and should exclude the item if it's only an update to an earlier Category-1 item
  • Category-2 items exclude findings that only hypothesize (without much significant evidence) or are very fragile research questions or studies that aim to show that something might be worth further investigations. In general items should stay in Category-3 until they're relatively established knowledge without lots of "could"s.
  • Category-2 items exclude items that are have very low degrees of the 4 criteria roughly defined above.
  • Category-2 items exclude items whose relevance / meaning isn't sufficiently clear.
  • Category-2 items exclude items which are likely/mostly/in most cases not very useful/understandable/meaningful for people that are not experts in specific fields and non-enthusiasts (at least in terms of the understanding of the item, not necessarily their implications).
  • Category-2 items should generally be kept a bit shorter than the average Category-1 item.
  • Category-3 items exclude extinctions and discoveries of animals except if there is good reason to include them here – they should be featured in separate dedicated articles which may not exist yet
  • Category-3 items should be kept very short if possible.
  • For example a significant breakthrough within a field or an improved/new technology for a potential device could be added as a Category-3 or Category-2 entry and later, once further R&D has been carried out or an actual device using the technology, found to be practically useful or to at least already work in principle has been built (or the uses/implications have become clearer), a Category-1 entry could be created for another, more conclusive or practically useful, finding or implementation within the same field of R&D. The same also goes for observational science and data-interpretation for when more data/evidence has been established for the respective finding/conclusion. Often it's better to wait for more evidence before a Category-1-in-general item is added as such.
  • Other useful criteria would be excluding or, rather, appropriately categorizing items about newly developed tools or new findings (like e.g. properties of materials) researchers think will or are likely to be very useful. For that it should also be relevant whether or not researchers have built a prototype(/s) that proves that their tools could be useful to some (varying) degree. It's also important to differentiate between resolving a known or new problem within a field or having developed a technology whose use isn't entirely clear. Generally it would be good to try to avoid findings with no clear implications or uses (which are usually explained in the paper and/or the reports on it) - There are many differentiations and exceptions that should be made in this area and they could get formalized better.
  • It would be useful to make it possible for people with expertise in the respective field of study to get notified for additions of items within their field so they can review the item and adjust/correct the item's text if adequate. I think that it would be inappropriate to create a talk page entry on every item's main article but that currently the creator of a Wikipedia article gets notified once a page links to it - maybe the MediaWiki software could be changed so that more people can get these notifications. For that to be useful one would need to specify which of the item's wikilinks should trigger these notifications (sometimes that's more than the "main wikilink" for the entry).
  • The text-lengths of the entries should be kept as short as possible but adequately long. The three categories could have different recommended lengths as an orientation. Category-3 items could be made to be hidden by default in which case their lengths wouldn't be as important and could also be longer than C1 or C2 items. One orientation would be trying to fit the text length to the 5 main criteria and only adding more text if that's needed to summarize (the main conclusions of) the study.
  • The categories (as already used by the Science Summary images alongside a few extra criteria like not featuring all C2-items due to lack of space and sometimes combining items) are not to be seen as some kind of award-like assessment of the study's merit for society - they are categorized by multitude of criteria of which importance and practical usefulness are only one each. It is mostly impossible to assign the merit of individual studies anyway as the work is built on a multitude of other tools and research. Instead they are better seen as some kind of "main" happening within science where popularity of the finding is a factor.
  • Images for Category-2 items are chosen by how useful the image is for comprehension and/or visualization of the item (this also depends on which images are available), how important the image is for the item and/or how significant the item is judging from the four main criteria.

But I guess right now too many entries probably isn't a problem: instead we should probably find criteria for items to always include and try to implement them. So first and foremost it probably needs more editors for this list which is when such inclusion criteria would be truly useful. I'll probably make a section on that later.

Items to always include could come from external weekly science reviews, like:

  • Edit: we could also try to include items that were popular on science-related subreddits:
    Posts that gained a lot of upvotes there would already meet (a high level of) the "degree of popularity"-criteria. This doesn't mean that they should be included (at least in the current way) - for example because they could still be very weak on other criteria or because the results are very preliminary or because they are very niche or because it's not a new and scientific finding/conclusion or alike. It would be hard to include all the items included there except if redditors themselves come up with an entry-text to add to the list within the respective comment-section. Hence it would be good to find lots of formal in/exclusion criteria due to the large number of entries that could be taken from there. The posts there often have comments that might be relevant to research for the entry-text e.g. by explaining a catch or by putting the finding into perspective or by elaborating on the background or by explaining problems with the news report.

So for example as a baseline we could try to include all items of the "This Week In Science" images by ScienceAlert as well as the 2 most popular article for each day and the top story of the week for as many major journals as possible.

It would be useful to organise this here (centrally/in-one-place, independently and openly) so that third-party websites and readers can then use this information/data to get a broader, more complete, more contextual/understandable, shorter (...) overview of the developments in science.

I think it would make sense to develop such inclusion criteria and routine-addition-selections even before they can become useful and get implemented once sufficient capacity has been reached (mainly number of editors but also editing time and editing time-efficiency).

Please comment what you think about this and whether you would suggest any refinement to the criteria even if this section is old.

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 22:55, 10 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 15:50, 24 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 15:46, 11 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

ScienceAlert has a questionable quality. If they include something then it usually got wider media attention but it doesn't have to be relevant in its field (not even discussing the relevance outside). If we only want to go by media attention we can check that in other ways. -- mfb ( talk) 07:10, 11 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Yes, however I thought it might be a good thing to include all the items they include because those usually got a lot of media attention and being included in their weekly review makes them even more popular. This is mainly just for covering the "degree of news coverage / popularity" criteria which is why it's not the only source of items I'd suggest to routinely include. (And of course it's also about the three other criteria as public interest and media coverage often increases with those.) Furthermore it may allow summaries based on this Wikipedia list / the list itself to be considered to be at least as good as their weekly reviews in some way due to having all of their items included.
I'm not proposing that editors use ScienceAlert news articles for the sources: there's news articles from a variety of sources for afaik all of their items. We could check for media attention in other ways in addition to that. For example the news articles are sorted by popularity. It might not be that easy to evaluate popularity better than via such reviews and the website (and the study's number of views / metrics) because you'd need to accumulate all of a study's social media and news articles' likes and views etc. on your own to make it comparable as I don't think there's any organization/website that is doing that.
But maybe we should only try to routinely add their items once we're implementing some other criteria of what to routinely include (e.g. via
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 16:22, 11 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Note: currently I'm checking the most popular items on along with any other news I happen to come across while making a lot of use of the papers' altmetrics-tools. I think that's a baseline that's not too bad, somewhat efficient and should catch many of the months' most findings relevant for the list. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 23:36, 5 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Note: currently I'm adding items based on selection from studies published during the month sorted by Altmetrics score as well as via some sites like (that one doesn't play of a role anymore).-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 13:12, 10 February 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Examples of items not included

More items which I decided not to add/include but mostly weren't easy to exclude are listed here, many with rationales which could make understanding the proposed criteria easier (and some of these may be relevant to other articles).

The below is not a list of items that should not be included. It's a list of items I did not include and together with the reasons this may help building inclusion criteria or better understanding of and extending the criteria proposed above. I think all of them should still be addable as (very short) Category-3 items as per above.

For almost all of the items it wasn't easy to decide whether or not to include because they're e.g. very useful or important (often only potentially so). Many of them are listed here precisely because it was tricky to decide whether or not to include at some point.

Other content I try not to include or would suggest to get tagged/categorized appropriately to enable filtering, better clarity and shorter length:

  • Improvements to instruments such as improvements to the sensitivity of instruments (not just the development of new instruments as already written above)
  • Newly measured values/measurements (only "non-value"-conclusions from these etc) ( example)
  • Unexpected findings (only conclusions where they have made sense of unexpected findings) ( example 1 example 2)
  • Verifications of standard / established theories

When adding items which are also notable due to such things I try not to include such aspects in the summary and only describe its other major notability explicitly (it may be included implicitly anyway).

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 16:29, 15 August 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Further criteria

To complete the proposed criteria, here are some more clarifications developed over time that could make it easier for others to understand the above as well as some additional criteria:

  • how many are affected by the study is a major but simple way to select
  • it should be globally relevant, e.g. about a global issue and included policy studies should not be about the U.S. only
  • when considering inclusion consider what it means in terms of e.g. usefulness in terms of demonstrated applications
    • no developments of robots but finished prototype – useful viable *applications of developed robots* (not general development or undeveloped/proposed robots)
    • being economically (present and future) viable and other wise viable is a typically important criteria for technical systems
      • if that is unclear it's typically better to wait until a better demonstration after further development
    • a thing to look for are phrases (red flags) like "could allow" xyz rather than specific demonstrations (possible example)
  • included items should e.g. be contrary to widespread belief, not unsurprisingly confirming already robust knowledge – basically "the new significant change-of-scientific-knowledge" (of the scientific knowledge is not changed but made more robust that may be great but is unlikely to be notable here)
    • consider whether the study substantially challenges a prevailing paradigm
    • a thing to look for are phrases (red flags) like "Our results are consistent with leading theoretical models" (possible example) – often e.g. first observation of what was expected theoretically with good confidence
  • consider whether key problems of the field/topic are addressed by the study (or development), for example for perovskite solar cells, the commercialization is not a major problem at this point but rather their stability&durability
  • see Wikipedia:WikiProject Weather/Weather by year criteria for another timeline's criteria, albeit these two can barely be compared and are very different
  • development of tools / instruments (R&D instruments mainly such as better imaging systems) and iterative steps typically shouldn't be included, rather include prototypes, applications-demonstrations, etc
  • consider whether it's empirical data or some vague soft projections or calculations based on human-made metrics with limited relevance as descriptors of reality (often relevant to "economics" studies); how hard the science is could be a factor
  • consider whether it's early-stage research or a milestone-*achievement*
  • in many cases it would be better not to include individual applications but only reviews/lists of applications and/or entire (new or reviewed or demonstrated) application domains etc
  • studies shouldn't be included if they're only about new quantification but not the first quantification of broadly that sort (especially at broadly the same scale & quality) and/or don't provide new insights
  • battery-related studies are difficult to in/exclude, personally I don't include nearly none of these and would recommend only including good-quality reviews from/about that field (or reliable-authority statements/certifications)
  • preprints could often be included when they meet criteria when there's already lots of major RS reports but in some cases even these cases it's better to wait until the study has been published in a journal
  • consider whether the R&D is near practical usefulness or whether it's (new) substantive new knowledge (e.g. confirmed well enough and understood in terms of what it means)
  • simulations (not full proof) of something within field that isn't very relevant outside the field should typically be excluded (possible example)
  • 'announcements' are (typically) never featured as Category-1 items and it's similar for plans and proposals even if they are described in detail in a peer-reviewed study
  • big claims are not particularly worthy of inclusion if they don't also provide good evidence/data (possible example)
  • the inclusio bar should be set higher for items for which there already was an item about the same topic (maybe alternatively the former item could be moved/edited)
  • the item should typically be relevant for addition to at least one (other) WP article and it would be good if the editor adding it here also integrated it there

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 13:12, 10 February 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Suggestion for a WikiProject / some kind of task-force

Maybe at some point there could be a WikiProject or another way organize work on these things.

One thing I'd like to propose is that some people check whether entries of the article are properly worked into their linked Wikipedia articles and add the information of the item to them if it hasn't yet been added. All items in the events-list of the article should have (and have as far as I have checked) their "main" WP article (where one would expect this info to be found / that is the most relevant WP article) linked (a few of them are redlinks). Maybe there could be a way to "mark" which items whose relevant articles already contain the info, so that one can easily check which ones still need to be updated. I'd suggest 5 statuses for the items:

  • ☒N Unchecked
  • checkY Suggestion for update / info-addition has been added to the article's talk page
  • checkY An article was updated but not yet all articles which should be updated
  • checkY Checked and the most relevant article should not include info of the item
  • checkY (All) most relevant article(s) have been updated to contain the item's info

(And another thing would be the creation of articles for the redlinks.)

(I already suggested a WikiProject for these articles in specific and some of the tasks at the German-language Wikipedia.)

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 23:36, 5 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Another task would be finding or taking relevant images, uploading them and adding them to the article. Most entries have a study which has an appropriate with an unfit copyright-license. However, sometimes the image could be released separately under another copyright and some studies are published under a commons license (the open access ones could be routinely checked for relevant images and authors of the other ones could be contacted/emailed about the image copyright). I added the {{Image requested}} template to this page. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 16:50, 19 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

For now, the thing that comes closest to it is WP:WikiProject:Science. I may ask there. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 13:12, 10 February 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Questions for appropriate categorizations of entries

5 Feb/CRISPR-Cas12a-based gene editing system

In the source for the 5 February/CRISPR-Cas12a-based gene editing system item it says:

"Few works have demonstrated this much control in human cells," said Qi, whose lab has applied for a provisional patent on their Cas12 technology. "Sensing many signals at once means greater precision in identifying a disease state, and greater safety in administering a therapy. We see this kind of circuit control playing a bigger role in treatments in the future.

Is this the first successful implementation of a CRISPR-based gene editing system that can sense and be regulated by many signals at once? Or do those "few other works" include similar systems?

I think it would be appropriate to categorize this item as Category-1 but I'm not sure if it meets the high level of "progress within a field or research question of varying usefulness/..." / "practicable usefulness" / "importance" criteria for that category.

Does somebody here know how unprecedented / significant this is? (Anything from links to reports on the most similar studies or links to some expert opinions on this development or sourced arguments / personal insights with or without professional background would be useful.)
And if not: what place would you suggest to ask others about this?

This section could also include other discussions for such categorizations.

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 16:18, 14 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Three new categories for items of the list for warnings (once its a table with categories)

I suggest three new categories or tags / topics for items of this list once it's converted to a table: warnings, vindicated warnings and nonvindicated warnings. We could try to retroactively add warnings which were signed by a large number of scientists and especially studies that include explicit warnings and were reported about (and of course studies that include warnings and were signed by many scientists).

I think these are types of entries that people are interested in in such timelines when reading about past events - especially once the list is well searchable and categories and/or tags such as these would help with that. They could also include studies with projections of anything that's commonly regarded to be problematic.

Allowing for proper table-entry-categories that are easily filterable would require changes to Wikimedia software.

In terms of the category a warning would constitute a reference to a significant risk. For warnings signed by scientists instead of studies which were reported on / that meet the general inclusion criteria I think they should have been signed by a significant share/number of scientists either worldwide or within a field or by a large number of very successful scientists.

Entries to include

  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection, a conclusion of the study:

    The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb. The possibility of the reemergence of SARS and other novel viruses from animals or laboratories and therefore the need for preparedness should not be ignored.

  • Some items of the list would also get one of these categories (entries can have multiple categories): for example the entry about a potential landslide by Volcano Tungurahua and the 28 January entry on biodiversity.

You could also suggest items to include here. This list isn't only for items for the 2020 article.

Please <strike></strike> items here once you or somebody else added them to the lists.

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 21:54, 26 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I still don't like the idea to make a table out of it, please don't do that unless you have larger support for it. -- mfb ( talk) 07:58, 27 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Okay. It needs to be discussed more first anyway. I'll wait for others to comment on it and will expand the example in that section first so you can see how the list would look like as a table. It's a bit problematic with the current Wikimedia software as the width would be larger than the horizontal space so you'd have to scroll sideways on most screens to see more columns than date, description and image. I also replied to your comment above.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 18:17, 27 March 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Meta-events/developments concerning scientific communities and scientific processes

How to deal with them? I think they should be included in a page called "{year} in science". But often they can't be pinpointed to a single day.

Examples for meta-developments are:

Maybe there should be a new section for such developments? Even if the list gets converted to a table by which we could add a "Topic" or "Category" called e.g. "Meta" they usually can't be pinpointed to a day but can only be documented properly from the entire year's frame of reference.

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 19:46, 3 April 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Images and image requests

Improvements to the Wikimedia software could improve support for tables and thereby resolve the problem of #Why aren't the images located next to their entries? and allow for more images to be added. Visual imagery helps people better understand things and is of interest to many readers. See #Should the list be converted into a table?.

One item of February is about a study whose main result is a visualization of a quantum mechanical process. This visualization could easily be made into an animation and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. It's the item of 25 February on " Tracking the Dynamics of an Ideal Quantum Measurement" which is licensed under "Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license". Could somebody please put the 4 frames into an animation, upload it to Commons and add it here?

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 14:21, 7 April 2020 (UTC) Reply reply


There could be lists for specific categories of new findings in separate sections of the article or in separate articles. They could also be included in the main list once it has been converted to a table with categories/tags of findings and the capability to hide entries of specific types manually and by default. I'll list a few examples here:

This would have many advantages such as better tracking specific fields of research, topic-related sorting, filtering, etc. and making the main list shorter. However it's not always easily possible to split it from the list: many studies are relevant to multiple fields of application (e.g. see Timeline of senescence research) - which is why tags/categories would usually be preferable.

For example theoretically one could transclude entries from History of quantum computing and add the tag or category "Quantum computing" and hide them by default in the table (or at least have them in a separate section of the table, not the upper part of the table) so that the table isn't overrepresenting developments in QC and only, from time to time, picks one very significant development to e.g. not be hidden by default.

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 15:46, 11 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Please do not create a table, or lists, or any other large-scale changes. It will just complicate things, dissuade people from adding entries, and be harder to maintain. This page has worked absolutely fine, for years, in its current format. We have an "Awards" section for discoveries or advances that are particularly notable, e.g. Nobel Prizes, so if you want to do something with that, then fine. But the main entries in each month should be kept in their current format. Wjfox2005 ( talk) 13:03, 21 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Sure, I created the talk page entry above to discuss this and not to somehow announce an upcoming conversion into a table. The section title ("Should the list be converted into a table") is even phrased as a question so I think that should be clear enough. And as written there, there are still some issues with the Wikimedia software which would need to be solved before this could be done. Namely, making such tables well-readable on mobile. There are probably also some other issues but this would probably be the main one. Maybe the "once it has been converted to a table with categories/tags of findings" above made it appear as if I was expecting this change to be carried out soon: it's just meant to show some more advantages of doing so and refers to the possibility of this happening e.g. years from now.
These are good points for why not to convert it into a table at least for now. I think it could be made so that it's not much harder to add entries to it or that it dissuades people from adding entries (again, probably via improvements to the Wikimedia software). Just having a table column for e.g. tags and categories doesn't mean that they have to be filled by editors who would like to add new entries. It would indeed necessitate a little bit more maintenance-work as extra fields for data would of course require more work to be populated.
I agree that the page has worked fine for years. I would like to help improve it nevertheless. Success and effectiveness of the page are relative. For example the page was never very comprehensive: it just listed entries editors of the page happen to have come across and found to be worthy of addition while missing entries on some very major discoveries. This could be changed by routinely adding entries as outlined in another section and would make the page more meaningful by serving as/becoming some sort of overview of current science like some sort of sensor which is more likely to pick up all of the most major discoveries (and like some sort of sensemaking-process which integrates the new findings with current knowledge). Imo the pageviews and usefulness to both editors and science-interested people could be improved. I hoped to make more people interested in this page and to somewhat extend its reach via the Science Summary images.
Anyways, I won't change the layout or alike without discussing it first – no need to worry about that. As of right now, I only add entries for last month (with the exception of some rare, proofreading-like edit-corrections to entries of the current month) so everything should be almost exactly like before for the latest month-section.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 14:19, 21 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Also adding some content to the Awards section is a good call. I suggest populating that section via transclusions. This would, for the most part, also require changes to the Wikimedia software. I think the best main way to add content there would be via transclusions for rows of tables like the 2019 row at List of Nobel laureates in Physics#Laureates.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 12:22, 25 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Okay, thanks for clarifying. Maybe it's something we could think about for the longer term, and if perhaps the Wikimedia software will improve, as you've suggested. My concern is that people would make mistakes/typos when altering tables, and possibly corrupt the layout. These year-in-science pages contain a very large number of entries, so it would need careful attention and a very dedicated team of contributors. Also, various other issues would arise, e.g. In terms of filtering/dropdowns, certain entries might cover multiple subjects – a new solar panel material, for example, might be considered both nanotechnology and energy-related, so I wonder how that would be handled. Wjfox2005 ( talk) 14:39, 21 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Yes, that's a good point - it's relatively hard to edit tables with the source-editor. Nevertheless there aren't so many new editors editing this article anyway even if it's not a table, it's made easy by the visual editor, the benefits may outweigh this drawback and we may add the template for a new row as a comment like this:
<!--to add a new entry remove this line
|style="min-width: 110px;" | date || style="width: 60%; min-width: 700px;" | description || (image) || (field of research) || || ||
to add a new entry remove this line-->
Many other articles still work well after their lists got converted to tables and afaik usually mostly considered the benefits to having a table. Furthermore, maybe adding table-entries in wiki syntax could also be made easier via changes to the software - for example maybe one could add a + button that shows when hovering over tables (maybe only when logged in) which when clicked opens the wikitext editor with automatically something like this being shown:
|style="min-width: 110px;" | Date || style="width: 60%; min-width: 700px;" | Description || Image || Research field || Topic || Lead by || Category
The column contents would automatically be the column-headers, the styles would get copied from the other rows (e.g. the first row) and it would only show this in a section-editor-view and not the whole table.
I'll probably propose some Wikimedia software changes later and then link these requests here. They wouldn't be useful for this article only.
Tags/categories/fields of research/topics would allow adding multiple tags as shown in the example table above - filtering all entries tagged with nanotechnology would also hide your example-entry. That's also a good point as one might only want to filter entries for energy-unrelated nanotechnology or so. I would suggest for it to have the "Research fields" Energy (or Renewable-Energy) and Nanotechnology-application. This way one could better distinguish between developments in Nanotechnology in general (items which would probably be added to a Timeline of nanotechnology) and specific applications of nanotechnology. If the item is more about demonstrating a novel method to develop nanotechnology and only chose something energy-related as a way to demonstrate its usefulness it would get "Nanotechnology" (or "Nanotechnology-design") as a third Research field. And of course there would also be the topics/tags-column by one could filter as well. One could use different combinations of tags and categories to filter the items similar to PetScan. This would also allow creating some dynamic timelines for specific topics or research fields, potentially interactive, somewhat graphical ones like Histopedia shows (albeit not very well implemented). By also adding categories (e.g. C1,C2,C3 as described above) would allow configuring different resolutions for these timelines and e.g. only show the most important developments within the field by only showing e.g. C1 items for the selected research field. These categories could also be used for filtering and I'd suggest showing all C1 and C2 items by default and auto-hiding all C3 ones and maybe some additional tags like all -application ones where it's only about a new or improved technology which hasn't yet been built into a) a finished device which b) has been shown to be very useful (there could also be buttons to easily un/hide specific topics which are e.g. likely to be not as interesting to the reader or very numerous).
All of these things would best be decided as it goes. Sorry for the long text and thanks for your input - as said these are some good points.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 12:22, 25 May 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for speedy deletion

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You can see the reason for deletion at the file description page linked above. — Community Tech bot ( talk) 13:07, 9 June 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Original page format better - or not?

Over the years, the original format of the page generally consisted of a brief sentence or two of science highlights along with relevant wikilinks and reliable references for further details if interested. Recently, however, seems the format has been changed to a much longer and much more detailed listing, without discussion or WP:CONSENSUS afaik - should the original page format be continued - or not? - Comments Welcome - in any case - Enjoy! :) - and - Stay Safe and Healthy !! - Drbogdan ( talk) 15:46, 13 June 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I try to keep things as short as possible while not leaving out anything really important to the finding and leaving others free to shorten the entry if needed. I wasn't intending to increase the average length of entries or have read about any kind of guideline for the length of entries here (except for comments by Wjfox2005 a month ago but that wasn't an informal or consensused format either) so I didn't ask about it here: that's just what I found to be the shortest adequate lengths.
I could try to make things shorter but that would imply leaving out a lot of necessary info or main findings.
Most entries are still very short imo and if the lengths are inappropriately long one could add an {{excessive detail}} note to it like I did for one entry near the top of the page.
Furthermore, if you take a look at some of the pages of earlier years there are also lots of entries with similar lengths (e.g. see the FRB of 28 June or BlueKeep of 14 May 2019). One difference is that now there's more entries per month on average as I'm investing a lot of time to add highly notable entries which also implies having more longer entries. And imo the FRB entry of 28 June could have been kept much shorter but I didn't change it because (it's not a category-3 entry per the criteria explained above which I keep to a length of a short sentence or so and) somewhat subjective.
So instead I'd suggest and would prefer either directly shortening entries which are considered to be inadequately long, or adding an {{excessive detail}}-note or discussing them here.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 16:07, 13 June 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
We're about half way through the year and the page is 376 KB in length. For comparison last year's is 255 KB. WP:TOOBIG says that a page with readable text > 100KB should almost certainly be split, and it refers one to Xtools for a calculation of this figure. Xtools is obviously broken (here at least) since it says the page has only 73 characters and 12 words... Adopting the simple expedient of copy-pasting the article text into an editor and removing references etc, shows that the readable text is around 105,000 characters now. This suggests that something ought to be done for the sake of those in the world with slow internet connections.
The obvious solution is to split the page into a summary with monthly sub-pages. The problem with this is that the summary couldn't be properly written until after the end of the year and there would no doubt be arguments about what's important enough to include in the summary. For what it's worth, personally I wouldn't like the page to be split either - I've had the page on my watchlist for several years and use the edits (and popups) as a simple way to keep up with what's new.  — SMALL JIM  17:03, 13 June 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
These are good points. Maybe it would be possible to have all sections collapsed and not load the content except for the latest two months? I agree that these points are issues with the page and would also prefer not to split the article. There are probably multiple ways to address them if one includes changes to the MediaWiki software. I don't know if there's a way to resolve it in a good way with the current software. I'll check whether it's currently possible to have collapsed sections not load their content later. If it's not one could create a feature-request for it on phabricator. Maybe transclusions could be used for that somehow. For shorter sections by-default I have made a suggestion to have entries categorized into 3 categories with e.g. two of them being auto-collapsed except if a filter was changed to also show them. So in terms of summarizing a months' items I think a good way would be to establish criteria (see section above) for different categories and then edit and discuss which entries should or should not be added to the Category-1 entries which are e.g. shown by default. Btw. here's a German-language version of the 2019 article with entries categorized via these 3 categories but without a table or filtered-display layout. I'll also think about some other ways this could be addressed later. Maybe somebody else has some additional suggestions.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 17:38, 13 June 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
My preference is that we retain the current new practice to make each of the items listed in this article more expansive in terms of informational content. and I feel that limits on length do not apply to timeline articles, or indeed to any of the numerous entries that are not a conventional encyclopedia article about a specific topic. you can view any of our index articles, or tables of years articles, for further examples and illustrations of this. -- Sm8900 ( talk) 19:16, 6 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
The article should be written to summarise these entries, where they can be described in more detail elsewhere. If the article is going to be this in-depth then splitting the article is inevitable, either by month or by topic. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 06:22, 19 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Perhaps for now, the simplest solution is just to have monthly articles – July 2020 in Science, August 2020 in Science, and so on. The year 2020 forms a nice "round" number to start with, so we could split this page into months – and then at some point, if somebody has the patience, they could do it for previous years too. As I've said before though, what I don't support is any drastic changes to the basic layout and styling, which in my opinion could cause confusion and be harder to maintain/update. So, keep the simple format we have, just split into months, IMO. Wjfox2005 ( talk) 12:12, 19 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Articles for other years are much smaller, so it's the 2020 article that is written with the different style. If the size was reduced, it could be better to split the article by quarters than by months. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 12:19, 19 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
The article is this long because of the number of entries, not because of the entries being in-depth (the 2020 article is unlike the years before mainly because I started added substantially more entries). Splitting the article is not inevitable even if there was a WP policy that explicitly requires, without exception, all pages to be limited to a certain length.
I think it would be good to first name your specific concerns with the article being long. This does not mean that I don't think that the article being this long can be suboptimal – but I do think it should be required to first name the actual problems perceived to be able to collaboratively address them in an optimal manner.
I suggest something similar to splitting the article by topic: converting the list under the Events section to a table and adding columns for categories (see #Should the list be converted into a table? which also includes two examples using the current Wikimedia software; a related page that has it implemented is Timeline of senescence research). Once this has been done readers could filter which topics to show and the default view could collapse entries with certain categories so that the list is shorter by default. An additional way to shorten the list further is described below.
I'm strongly opposed to splitting the page into months or quarters. The all-in-one-place approach is exactly the core benefit of this article (for many reasons) and splitting the article by months would diminish it. To give three reasons in specific:
  • I'd like to watch all changes to the 2020 article without having to watch a new article every month and having countless of watchlist entries. This is not just useful in terms of convenience but also for maintenance of the article.
  • I only add items to the previous month instead of the latest month partly because this allows better assessment of potential entries for the list.
  • If it is split most readers (probably far fewer) would then only read the last month's article while ignoring the months before. Splitting the article would also make the article harder to find.
Most reasons also apply if you split the article's events section into multiple articles by month and then transclude the content of these pages here.
I think these suggestions are only workarounds of a core Wikipedia problem: outdated layout features for lists and tables. This problem (assuming it is a problem, not just something to improve on) could be solved easily:
  • If tables looked well on mobile ( T258382)
  • (and were easy to maintain/update: imo they mostly already are if using VisualEditor or when providing commented-out templates for the source-editor; this could be improved with further software changes) ( T258417)
  • and had features such as row-categories with buttons for simple hiding/showing items of specific categories ( T258421)
  • (and if there was a way to have sections of months collapsed by default so they don't load the data except when either clicking [show] or scrolling it into view: except for the reduction of data-traffic [Wikimedia servers really should be capable of handling this little traffic so loading the embedded images is only an issue for a fraction of readers client-side] this is already possible: see an example of collapsed items in section #List of entries to include for what's already possible; there are also other ways to collapse items if you don't like the style.) ( T258424)
I'll create issues for these and related things on phabricator soon and will link them here. I'm suggesting leaving the page as is and instead implement a proper solution via changes to the Wikimedia software that are not too hard to implement.
In short: I'm in favor of keeping the article as is as of right now, don't see an urgent need to – imo hastily/improperly – change its basic structure, see a lot of problems with the suggestions for doing so thus far and suggest some not-hard-to-implement changes to the Wikimedia software which I will describe in more detail in phabricator issues which I'll link here within the next days.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 16:50, 19 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I have listed the issues at #Suggested MediaWiki software changes before converting the list to a table (tasks on phabricator) and linked them next to the bulletpoints above. More details can be found at the linked pages. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 20:30, 20 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
The issues with long articles are well documented through Wikipedia guidelines, namely that they present problems for certain internet connections (particularly mobile) and that it is harder for readers to navigate and read the articles. I don't think it is reasonable at this point to be in denial about the article's extraordinary size, and we're only halfway through.
The reasons you've given for being opposed to splitting the article miss the point of dealing with large pages. You could just as well watch the changes for multiple articles with the watchlist, but we create articles for readers, not editors. Splitting the article would not stop you at all from adding content, and if readers only want to see entries for a particular month, they should not have to load and navigate through content for an entire year when that would be 500,000 bytes so far and 1,000,000 bytes by the end of the year if it grows at the same rate. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 22:46, 21 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Thanks for the explanations. I'm not in denial about the article's extraordinary size – I just think that outlining the specific problems would be useful for solving a problem in general and especially in this case. Most articles are simply different from these "year in x"-timeline articles and Wikipedia:Article size does not require all articles to be limited to a certain length. I think limiting them to a certain length makes sense in almost all cases, that therefore exceedance of 100kB "almost certainly" means that the respective article should be split or otherwise reduced in size but that pages like this one here are an exception to that in general while some specific problems, including the mobile access, still apply. Imo in this case we should think of / implement ways to resolve the problems instead of limiting the length.

Lazy-loading already happens, and disabling images in the mobile version (MobileFrontend) on older browsers which don't support other means of lazy loading.

See e.g. or for related work.

I'm not aware of a sane way to first check someone's bandwidth and then load content, because time is wasted by checking the bandwidth.

So it seems a solution to this would be (not an implementation of my task but) coding the two linked tasks in that comment and that it is not as big of a problem (anymore?) as it might first appear to be.
  • For problems of navigating and reading the article:
    • There is a TOC one can use to quickly jump to the month-section one would like to jump to so one does not have to scroll. One could create an issue for displaying the TOC as a sidebar (collapsible or not and for all articles or only long ones) as in the Wikipedia mobile app for browsers which would also allow jumping around the article from anywhere but the top. There could be a new issue for this but I don't think such a sidebar-TOC would be important but maybe I'll create a task for it anyway.
    • The article's scope is broad and precisely this is the core value and point of it. People should expect the article to be long. Just like they should expect List of chemical elements to be fairly long - splitting the article by the periods of the elements simply does not make sense. There are additional articles like Period 1 element.
    • Converting the list to a table as I have suggested (it could be done after the tasks including mobile view of tables have been solved) could improve the navigation and reading of the article. For example, tags and categories (see T258421) could allow filtering items to e.g. either only display items of specific Scientific fields or to hide Category-3 items etc. It can also improve navigation and reading of the page in other ways than filtering including (row- or cell-)colors, row-highlighting, sorting and more.
    • Further suggestions for improving navigating and reading the article could be put forward. For example I would suggest considering reversing the order so that the latest month is first. This also has some disadvantages such as newer items usually requiring more time to be adjusted, older items being more ignored and the list not being as chronologically sorted as before.
1 MB isn't much in 2020.
For navigating through see the point above (including the TOC; it's not difficult/really problematic to navigate). Other possible things would be autocollapsing/lazy-loading sections would be another option. The problems with the current approach imo very clearly and by a large margin do not outweigh the value of having it all in one place. As mentioned earlier, one could think about additional articles using transclusion but I don't think it's necessary or that it would be very useful. Imo 1 MB would be a success – either global science or Wikipedia would be in trouble if a summary of science that could be considered adequate by any means was much shorter than what it's now.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 15:32, 22 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
There is nothing special about this article that would necessitate it be not only more than 100,000 bytes, and not only the 500,000 bytes it currently is, but the 1,000,000 bytes we can expect it to be at the end of the year. Another article you refer to, List of chemical elements, is only 40,000 bytes and is far more readable than this article. Indeed, this topic is already split into articles by year as it is, and the article itself is already split into months, so it wouldn't be like splitting an article that is a complete set like the chemical elements article. The only thing I can see that could reduce the size of the article, if not removing or reducing the size of entries, is to cut down on references, but the article would still be far too large by the end of the year anyway. Moving the content into tables would be disastrous for an article this large as it would make visual editing impossible. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 22:11, 22 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
There is something special about articles such as this one. And even more so the "year in science" articles as they basically capture everything of the "updated knowledge" that should go into (/ update) Wikipedia from the field of science. And as said, it should be expected to be long. A few other articles may not be as long but could be as they have the problem of not many editors investing much time to add relevant content.
If articles split per month or quarter or topic/scientific-field would be considered useful to some, they could be created in addition to this article with transclusion being used (to prevent duplication of content; readers then have a choice which format they prefer; if transcluded by month one could leave e.g. the newest 3 months as is and move/transclude older sections; if transcluded via scientific-fields one could implement a way to transclude specific rows from specific articles via tags and categories as suggested in T258421).
Other articles of similar length are 2018 in paleontology (also a table), List of fatal dog attacks in the United States, Donald Trump and 2018 in American television (also a table). Wikipedia:Wikipedia records#Articles even states whether or not the longest article records are "not a list or timeline". Unlike most articles, this article is a timeline-list and has many eligible entries as well as many, partly very active, editors. This is a good thing. And I would also argue that it is more important to chronicle and integrate global scientific progress than e.g. describing television.
I think it is far more readable because it's a table – and I have suggested converting the list to a table. (This could also make the article shorter – even without collapsible sections – if the filtering, as suggested/explained above, was implemented.) For other concerns regarding readability please see my reply above.
Converting the list to a table would not make visual editing impossible. Why do you think it would? I have also created an issue to ease editing of tables and linked it above. ( T258417) It's already fairly easy with the VisualEditor afaik – it's the source editor that's harder to edit tables with.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 09:04, 23 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Again, you haven't stated what is special or what reason there is to have all scientific discoveries of one year in the same article. As there would still be an article that is completely oversized, this suggestion of yours to create articles with transcluded content isn't adequate.
All of the other articles you have listed are also too long, are not as long as this article, will not be as long as this article would be by the end of the year, and have already had parts of it split out into other articles. List articles are often longer than other articles, but this article is still abnormally, extremely and unfortunately large for a list article.
Size most definitely does not equal importance, and I think this is what the real issue here is. There's certainly no glory that comes with being the largest article, and if there was, then it would be a massive problem as to which article could be the largest. You're really not doing yourself any favour here by suggesting increasingly technical ways to keep the size of this article incredibly large for no real reason. Instead, it seriously damages coverage of the topic to have it in an article too large.
The visual editor becomes unable to load when tables are too large, which I have personally experienced many times. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 11:42, 23 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
While you made some good points, you ignored most of my previous reply and answering your questions would mostly be repeating what I said there.
Also you are violating WP:BRD by removing the studies that have been added as references to the list again without prior discussion. WP:OVERCITE is an essay, not a policy. There are many reasons for why they are included: including that they are references to the content, that this makes it integrate nicely with the studies' meta-information and that it allows readers to easily navigate to the original study. If you are so keen on removing references you could remove some of the news article references so that each entry only has the original source/study as well as one news article.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 13:52, 23 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I'm going to be blunt here. This page was generally okay (as were previous years), until Prototyperspective came along and started adding absolutely ludicrous amounts of entries, often with 3 or 4 lines of content, all with gigantic references filled with detail, plus a mass of red links. For ages it was just me, Drbogdan, and 1 or 2 other core contributors who managed this page, carefully selecting what we considered the most notable entries. Then suddenly, Prototyperspective comes here and feels the need to post literally every breakthrough that's published in every journal. You can see the problem here. While it's nice that Prototyperspective has such an enthusiasm for science, he needs to seriously cut down on his contributions here. Wjfox2005 ( talk) 12:29, 23 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

It is still okay. Why would it not? I would even argue that it wasn't okay previously as it was way too short and subjective for an article "year in science" previously.
Yes, I did invest a lot of time to add substantially more, important content.
Previously there already were lots of entries with 3 or 4 lines of content which isn't very long either (and maybe some of those can be shortened). I could try shortening some of the entries further if things like tags/categories/filters which could shorten the content too are not being implemented.
The red-links could be removed if consensus considers them to be more troublesome than helpful. Usually red-links are encouraged for encouraging valuable growth of Wikipedia. I included them whereever I found that an entry is part of something for which there is no article yet despite such being very useful.
I don't believe you "were carefully selecting what you considered to be the most notable entries". Is there anything that would indicate this? I have build a set of criteria of what could be considered varying levels of notability / eligibility for entries of the page and did routine, standardized checks of structured science news. Until then it looks like people just added whatever they happen to come across and happen to find notable for whatever reason, resulting in a page that excluded content of tremendous long-term importance for global humanity with lots of mainstream news reporting on it but included content on newly discovered plumed moths, basically everything SETI-related, unbalancedly many unexplained astrophysical events, seemingly random content within the subjective interests of the editors and so on and had lengthy entries that listed the, unlinked, precise names of FRBs or detailed information on computer security vulnerabilities. Please don't misunderstand me: I think it's all important and good content to keep as is but is entirely unreasonable to argue that the previous entries were well-selected.
I already suggested categories to prevent "literally every breakthrough that's published in every journal" from cluttering the page. This could best be done when converting the page to a table. But it could also be done by subsplitting each section into multiple subsection of different notability-levels as I have done on another page, showcasing how the page would look like if this was implemented.
What exactly is the problem? Is it that the number of bytes of the page exceeds the number of bytes considered "almost certainly" too long? That's not a problem in and of itself. For problems regarding readability etc please see my reply above, including filtering, as well as the suggestion of subsplitting section, which I also already suggested here earlier.
I really appreciate what you have done for these pages so thanks for that and also thanks for the input.
Previously, the page that aims to describe the (major achievements/conclusions/... of) science of the year was way too short and subjectively narrow.
Beyond technological improvements, I think that the solution is to get more people to edit more – not fewer editors to add and edit less. By more additions, content could get balanced better. By more editing, content could get shortened, potentially compared to inclusion-criteria (as suggested) and tagged, categorized and filtered (as suggested) etc.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 13:52, 23 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
If there would be a "2020 in science" article that was not further split into months or by topic, it would have to be much more a summary of these events and contain far fewer entries, simply because what can be defined as science is incredibly broad. Clearly you have a particular enthusiasm for science, but if we applied this to any other area, the absurdity would be just as apparent. Our 2020 in politics article is so far 100,000 bytes and only attempts to list the most important political events, so it's a very limited inclusion criteria when compared to all notable political events of 2020. For further content on political events in 2020, readers go to articles that list political events for each country. 2020 in paleontology is 180,000 bytes and palaeontology is science as well, but we shouldn't be merging that article into 2020 in science. Instead, we have spun off the largest sections in that article into their own articles, and this has actually lead to the expansion of that content since the 2020 in paleobotany section doesn't have to fight on space or inclusion criteria with the 2020 in mammal paleontology section.
I don't think it is necessary or desirable to remove the large swathes of content that Prototyperspective has added from Wikipedia entirely, provided that they are spread across better readable articles. Otherwise, the inclusion criteria of this article is clearly far too lenient. Editors should not be proud of creating large articles, they should have pride in writing content that gets to be spread across many articles.
I restored my trimming of references because I wanted to provide the reason in the edit summary, which I hadn't done the first time. Secondary sources such as reliable news articles are usually better than primary sources here. As we already have articles that list scientific discoveries by topic, and as the article is already divided by months, it is inevitable and desirable that the month sections are spun off into their own articles, which would allow the content to be described in greater detail and can allow for more entries to be included. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 22:29, 23 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
There are many good points you made there.
Many entries and/or a broad scope are not problems in and of itself. The core value of this article is its broad scope. There are related additional articles with narrower scope. This integrative, broad-scope approach is the main point of the article. As suggested there could be a) additional articles so that readers can choose the format they're interested in and/or b) technical ways to rehash/process the article's content such as tags and categories as well as filtering functionality. Basically science is a core thing Wikipedia is about because science is about creating new knowledge and Wikipedia is about encyclopedizing knowledge. ( According to Wales "the closest thing we have to a Prime Directive" is the vision that could be outlined like so: "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.") This is (only) one of the reasons for what this and articles much like it are somewhat special.
I can understand that it may seem absurd to have such long articles. But I don't think it is. I find it as absurd that the global Internet community / Wikipedia still hasn't implemented technical features (for tables) that are already implemented on countless modern websites and apps such as tags and categories or a proper mobile view (like e.g. the fullscreen feature for videos in the YouTube app).
Furthermore, I do think that there are quite a few articles which should be maintained and extended similar to this article. I have chosen to dedicate my time and effort to this article and hope somebody else does the same for other articles. They might not do so because for they don't have a large readership for example or because it may be harder to find/identify and summarize eligible content for them or because they don't consider it worth their time for other reasons etc. The 2020 in politics is probably lacking information on some very major events.
Most of the list's items are very important and I with only very few exceptions I'm not adding anything I wouldn't consider a Category-2 item as per the categories described (and suggested for use in either filtering or subsectionizing the items) above.
While I have built, in parallel to routine -editing and -tracking etc, a set of inclusion criteria for three different levels (categories) of notability or eligibility for list, I haven't read anything of that sort for the "year in politics" articles. So there doesn't appear to be a "limited inclusion criteria" (instead the list happens to be short because few editors edit it and/or not as actively as this article). There are lots of other differences too: for example science in general is inherently global or at least its developments and conclusions are of global interest, while this doesn't apply in the same way for politics (as you have correctly pointed out). Niche scientific results should not be contained in this list – basically only those of general interest. One type of niche scientific result would be the discovery of ordinary exoplanets (has a separate article) or animals without e.g. very interesting adaptations. I already listed these and some other such exclusion criteria further above and listed some specific examples including rationale at #Examples of items not included.
For "year in paleontology": I'm not advocating to merge that into "year in science" articles. Instead "year in science" articles should only feature items within the realm of paleontology if they meet the inclusion criteria for at least Category-3 items such as being a "major breakthrough within a scientific field". From the feedback to the "Science Summary" images as well as the news reports it seems that the global public and the readership of the article are fairly interested in ancestors of crocodiles having apparently walked on two legs while we can probably agree that the discovery of the an extinct genus of conodonts, Misikella, with unexplained significance and little or probably no news reports is not eligible for this list.
The same solutions don't always work for different problems (and imo the problem shouldn't be the "number of bytes" in and of itself).
We can probably even agree on what you're basically arguing for: constraining the article's items and establishing inclusion criteria (limiting the length without formal or informal inclusion criteria would require indiscriminate locking out of contributors/content for the sake of it). The difference is that you think it would be necessary to make a "cut" as a certain length has been reached and not due to an in-depth vetting of the article's content and the establishment of sensible, reasonable, informed criteria. You could, as anybody else, add {{Importance inline}} template-semi-tags next to item you think aren't notable enough, or make a talk page post about it or even remove them directly. I such a "cut" would be needed once the list has many unnotable entries or roughly when there's roughly three times as much as editor-effort being put behind the article compared to now. Until technical improvements subsectionizing could split each month's section into three subsection for each of the three categories. Also note that I'm only adding items after a month has passed so things are/could be somewhat as before in case that's what editors and/or readers want.
As said, I only add items I find to be very eligible and notable for the list with most of the few exceptions being one short sentence each.
Please do read the list's actual content. I'm not sure if you are very familiar with the article's topic and its content. For example I haven't seen you adding even a single item to the list while only making a talk page post that asks for an indiscriminate, one-solution-fits-all-problems large change to the basic structure of a series of articles that has been going on for years.
I and others could discuss reasons for why specific items should or should not be included and improve the suggested inclusion criteria this way, which could result in some items being removed, moved to other articles or at least be recategorized per the three categories in case the page is ever subsectionized or converted to a table. (I doubt that more than a few should be re/moved though.)
I never said that I was proud or find glory in enabling or helping create a large article. Almost all of this article's content should find its way onto other articles. I did not have the time to do this so far and have suggested a task-force to do this and have created a number of talk-page entries at some of the article where content from here (or info on what the item is about) should go to.
The studies themselves in this article are actually often more reliable than many of the news articles here. This is one of the reasons, some of which I explained earlier, for why they are always included.
There are only very, very few articles that list scientific discoveries by topic – much less by year – and they typically are not maintained at all.
As said, it wouldn't even be inevitable if there was a Wikipedia policy that required all Wikipedia articles to be limited to a certain length without any exception and afaik there isn't. It's also not desirable for many reasons – many of which I already have explained (with many or even most explanations being mostly ignored) above. And these month-articles could be created in addition if that's the format (a substantial share of) readers want.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 21:29, 24 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
The problem isn't the broad scope of the article. The content is already split into years, and would not be any less broad split into months or quarters. I do not think there is any particular content in this article that is not notable enough for this series of lists.
Science is not a "core thing" that Wikipedia is "about", any more than any other topic. This article might be special to you, but the Wikipedia community does not recognise this at all. This is a list article.
Wikipedia's lack of technical features are not particularly relevant here, but this a non-profit organisation. I'm sure it would be appreciated if you were to volunteer for technical development.
Inclusion criteria is not necessarily something that is agreed by consensus for each article, and that includes this article. The inclusion criteria is descriptive of what has been included in the article. For example, you've shown that you've written about what you think the inclusion criteria for this article should be, and that's reflected in the article, but you seem to be the only one advocating for that.
Overall, the breadth of content here should be congratulated, and it's certainly more than enough for one article. I'm sure there are many other issues with the article or many other potential improvements that can be made, but I am only addressing the length issue here. I'm more than willing to evaluate and discuss any other issues or improvements as well. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 22:10, 24 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
@ Smalljim and Wjfox2005: You have both said you have supported the article being split into months. Would either of you mind the article being split into quarters for now? If those articles were still too large, I would have no problem splitting into months further. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 22:21, 24 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Your points about 2020 in politics seemingly having "very limited inclusion criteria" and "Otherwise, the inclusion criteria of this article is clearly far too lenient" led me to believe otherwise. Sorry if I misunderstood you there. I addressed the suggestion of splitting it by month and have already repeated myself doing so, so I'm not repeating it again and only refer to the earlier replies.
That might have indeed been unfortunately worded: what I meant is that science is about creating new knowledge and Wikipedia is meant to become "the sum of human knowledge". This is why there is a special relation between the two. Many scientific results should be worked into Wikipedia and thereby update the articles with the new knowledge. I hope that you (and only you as you're not speaking for the whole Wikipedia community or can that easily infer their collective, sufficiently informed, opinion on the matter) understand what I meant with this explanation.
I find it strange that I volunteer so much of my time and effort that it's making up a substantial share of my lifetime and as a thank you (in terms of Wikipedia, not communities like reddit of course) I'm asked to also volunteer the rest of my time to justify doing so. And I already did by specifying and suggesting the features which I linked above. If I find time, despite of my other things to do, I'll try coding these things. But as of right now I can't also do that. And in addition Wikimedia could easily spend some of their money to get more volunteer developers onboard (that wouldn't even require spending any money but probably only ca. 2 days of one WMF person's time) or even allocate some of their millions of donated dollars to resolving much needed technical issues like imo these.
What I did was suggesting inclusion criteria which others could either use/adopt or not and either comment on or not and either build into formal inclusion criteria or not (in addition to making my selection process more transparent and reasonable). Afaik, there hasn't been such inclusion criteria before. Furthermore, there were some very nonnotable items included and some rather irrelevant/niche items were lengthy while more notable ones not included. I did remove some of these (some others only confused me when I systematically assessed each and every item of the article's items since an entire year but did not remove them) and e.g. added an {{excessive detail}} template to one item. It is unreasonable to argue that there was some hidden but nevertheless applied inclusion criteria here. I think the same also goes for many other articles which could be considered relevant/related.
Okay, well I certainly do believe that you only intend the best for Wikipedia and this article. Here are some (not all) of the options (multiple of which could be implemented) I have suggested earlier as an addition to the option of "splitting the article by month (or quarter)":
  • Implementing new technical features that would improve readability and decrease length such as tags/categories and filters (and, in addition, could enable the conversion to a table; tags and filters are already implemented at the watchlist; categories could even be used without converting it to a table – an example to illustrate what I mean would be differently colored bulletpoints and a filter-button on top of the page and sections)
  • Leaving the article as is for now (and maybe nonhastily gathering information about what format/features/changes/... readers actually would like to see here)
  • Splitting each section into three subsections with varying levels of eligibility/notability (rearranging items after the month has passed)
  • Creating additional articles for the months in case that's indeed what many/a large share of readers are shown to want (transclusion could be used to prevent duplication)
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 23:01, 24 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I completely agree that Wikipedia should ideally contain all human knowledge, and have thought so for a long time now. This is not relevant, but science is clearly not the only source of human knowledge. I don't know who you think is asking you to justify yourself, especially at the extent that you seek to do. I hope you're aware that the amount you write on article talk pages is highly unusual and not expected of anybody, so you shouldn't feel that you are being asked to write this much.
I don't know enough about what Wikimedia does, but I do know that they employ staff who coordinate technical development, and many of the features we do have are made by volunteers already. Wikimedia doesn't have enough money for everything we would want them to spend.
I do not support moving the content into tables, splitting month sections into subsections, or creating duplicated articles. You're exceptionally unlikely to receive any support for the latter two, and I don't see any problems that would be solved with tables. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 23:16, 24 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I'd be okay with quarters, provided it's the same basic format/styling as now, i.e. No tables or complicated layout that's difficult to maintain and which newcomers may find hard to contribute to. Wjfox2005 ( talk) 06:22, 25 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I was not saying that science was the only source of new human knowledge. I wasn't referring to the amount of text I'm writing in these recent talk page posts but the general approach to handling the perceived problem (also many of my explanations and suggestions were ignored / not addressed so far). As said, it would not require spending any money. And the mobile view has been neglected for many years (for example you can't even sort tables on mobile) despite increasing mobile access. We could argue about how important it would be to develop tags/categories and filters – imo this shouldn't be very hard to develop (it would be fairly easy for modern javascript websites but I don't know much about PHP MediaWiki and tags and filters are already implemented at the watchlist) and cost much money (if it wasn't developed by volunteers) and hence would be worth coding even if the importance is not that high.
I'm interested in why people so far oppose moving the content into tables even though it clearly has navigational, functional and data-structuring advantages. Sure, it's a change but why would it be a problem beyond the needed accustoming and rearrangement (and the linked code issues incl. mobile view and ease of editing)? Two examples of tables, beyond the examples in the section above are Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources#Sources and Timeline of senescence research. If you're wondering why my recent talk page posts are this long, it's partly because you do not address what I write or what I have written in the sections I linked to: when you write "I don't see any problems that would be solved with tables" you ignore the many advantages of tables that I have explained in the section on it as well as that tags/categories and filtering could easily shorten the content.
It wouldn't be creating "duplicated articles" – as said transclusion could be used.
I think I oppose splitting the article by quarters but it's definitely something more sensible and reasonable than just splitting it by month. If that is implemented I think it would be best if we don't move content from here to the e.g. "2020/Q2 in science" article before 3 months or so have passed after the quarter. Sections here could then have a {{Main|2020/Q2 in science}} link beneath with only the latest 2-4 months being included in full here.
Maybe, at a later point, they could still be transcluded here or to elsewhere, similar to what I have suggested for the Awards section at #Sublists. For the problem of ease of editing see the point with T258417.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 09:43, 25 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I'm referring to transclusion when I mention duplicating content. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 23:08, 25 July 2020 (UTC) Therefore, my comment at 23:16 24 July should be taken as opposing transclusion. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 12:43, 27 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
If you aren't in favor of neither transclusion nor copying of content then you shouldn't have created the article for the second quarter yet and instead have left the content here for a short while for now. Most of my points have been largely ignored including the suggested MediaWiki changes (see the bullet points) and the issue with WP:RECENTISM when only including the most recent month here.
Furthermore, some content has already been copied from here to other timeline articles because MediaWiki is missing features of list-item- and/or row-transclusion. If you do not wish for this to occur I think you'd favor making changes to MediaWiki such as creating a filter-functionality already implemented for the Watchlist for articles.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 13:17, 27 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I disagree with your thoughts on transclusion and I have nothing against improving MediaWiki. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 22:19, 27 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Please do not intervene in the article/list, to which you haven't contributed to previously, for Q3 by removing transclusions (or other improvised solutions) because you oppose it, in violation of WP:BRD, WP:CONSENSUS and WP:RECENTISM (and conflicting with the article's series' year-long layout-format and its categories). I'll ask about improvements to the software. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 16:29, 15 August 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I think that the article should be all under one article, so we can actually read 2020's events under a single article, and not have to click elsewhere. Perhaps there needs to be more restrictions on what to include? Or, perhaps create additional articles? For example, if there are a lot of astronomy events, maybe we need to create 2020 in astronomy, and just list monumental events here? I mentioned elsewhere on this talk page about creating Weather in 2020. Sure, I could mention some weather events in this article, but only the really important stuff should be in this article, so it makes sense having "The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) announces that it assesses a 20% chance that global warming compared to pre-industrial levels will exceed 1.5 °C in at least one year within the five years of 2020-2024. 1.5 °C is often considered to be a key threshold of global warming and nations have agreed to attempt limiting contemporary climate change to it under the Paris Agreement." ♫ Hurricanehink ( talk) 03:27, 12 September 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Thanks for joining this discussion! I also think that having this 2020 article's events under a single article is a substantial advantage. This is because this makes it clearer, a better overview, more comparable, searchable for key terms with ctrl+f and more easily/conveniently readable. I think readers are more likely to read more of the article if it's included here directly instead of siloed elsewhere and just linked here.
I suggested more restrictions on what to include but don't think many entries should be removed as of right now and hence such restrictions would not be relevant (as of right now at least) – but I did remove several items which I think don't meet reasonable inclusion criteria (about 4 items overall). I also suggested categories, tags and filters which would allow displaying fewer entries while not excluding relevant, but less major entries. There could be filters which could be applied by the click of a button similar to the filters for the Watchlist and items could be filtered by default. For suggested criteria for inclusion and categories see section #Inclusion criteria and routine addition of entries (e.g. of weekly science reviews) – for a rough example of how the items could be categorized see #Monthly Science Summary images based on this list (the categories wouldn't match e.g. the 8 main items of these summaries, it's just an example). I suggested tags and filters within the current discussion as well as earlier in section #Sublists. My preferred solution would be changes to the MediaWiki software – some of which I specified in phabricator tasks – which could complement and/or allow changes to the article (not just filters and categories+tags but also – mainly – improving the display and functionality of tables).
I think that additional articles such as "2020 in astronomy" are a very good and useful thing and have substantially expanded several of such articles and linked them from a new template I recently added to the article. However, as of right now only highly significant events are featured here (or mostly when excluding what I'd categorize as C3-items per criteria above) so I don't think that this could shorten the article as of right now (and these separate articles typically only have very few items). Except, again, if there were categories for entries of the list. I also suggested only including few items from topic-specific lists for the "Weather in 2020" article ("Rarely, an item featured there should also be included in 2020 in science"). This is currently being applied to a certain extent for e.g. 2020 in paleontology which is one of the few such articles with many entries.

I think the best solution here is to have expandable/collapsible, transcluded sections similar to Windows 10 version history or tables like in Effects of global warming. I have changed the section links to being both a link to the split article and a collapsible transcluded section. I think this represents a compromise that's suitable for a consensus and which only has very few to no substantial disadvantanges and many advantages.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 17:29, 14 September 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
There seems to be limitation of 4 for sections transclusions which is not explained on the Help pages (or at least I couldn't find info on this limit anywhere). I created a task here. Until later here is how it looks like with 4 transcluded month-sections.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 18:48, 14 September 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I have implemented an improvised version of this improvised solution (as explained and shown above) now.
Here I have described what I found in the research about finding the main cause of this problem which currently seems to be related to long "Transclusion expansion time"s. I haven't received an answer there or at the phabricator issue (linked above) about what the exact problem is and why it persists. Here is a related village pump proposal.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 21:49, 18 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
There is no consensus for transclusion, and it violates the consensus to split the article. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 22:25, 18 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

May 2020 images

There are too many images for May 2020. I'm going to remove a couple, to leave space for June. Hope that's okay. Wjfox2005 ( talk) 13:18, 17 June 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I'm interested (along with another user) in creating an article for meteorology in 2020, with a yearly overview such as number of worldwide tornadoes, or tropical cyclones, and weather records (such as national record high temperatures, or record flooding). I'm wondering if anyone watchlisting this could give some feedback. ♫ Hurricanehink ( talk) 16:29, 24 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I think it would be cool if you could do that! I'd add it to Template:Science year nav which I recently created and added to the article. It would replace the link to Tornadoes of 2020 there as this page could get linked to from "2020 in meteorology" or get (partially or entirely) transcluded in it.
The "Tornadoes of 2020" article only has a total count of tornadoes within the US and I don't know if it was possible for the page to have some kind of global count. The formats of statistics and tables would probably be useful there.
I also think that it would be good for such a page to have a section for meteorology-related research and development events. For this keeping track with and including some of the events aggregated here might be useful (of course there are also other possible aggregation source that also have some metainformation about the event/paper). Rarely, an item featured there should also be included in 2020 in science – I think this might possibly apply for the "the longest lightning bolt (700 km) and the "megaflash" with the longest duration" records featured here under 24 June. If the section's list there has a compatible format, the item would either be copied here or, imo preferably, be transcluded via row- or list-item- transclusion which is not yet possible with MediaWiki.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 17:09, 26 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Having discussed it with Jason Rees ( talk · contribs), I made a draft for Draft:Weather of 2020. ♫ Hurricanehink ( talk) 19:29, 26 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

The draft looks good. When do you intend to move it to article space? It could still be edited afterwards and I think it would be good to move it to article space even in the case that no such article is created for 2021 (e.g. as a proof of concept article and for weather history). But I think it's an article series that will persist as it would be useful even if it included only the organized and integrated links to articles like Tornadoes of 2020 and likely to be longer than e.g. 1981 in the environment. I'd add it to Template:C21 year in topic and/or, as a subsection with a {{Main}}-link, to 2020 in the environment and environmental sciences. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 20:59, 5 September 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Article format

What's going on with this article? Some months are referenced as "main article", and others are actually transcluded. Why are they not all transcluded? The reason I ask, beyond the obvious inconsistency, is that some references aren't working because they're not actually in defined in the transcluded sections. -- Mikeblas ( talk) 14:34, 26 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

The article format has recently been changed after years of including all items for a year within a single article. For the discussion about it see section #Original page format better - or not? – if interested I recommend you read the shorter bullet points there.
Currently the latest 3 months are included here, while earlier months are split out to other articles per quarter. It would be inconsistent to not have a 3 month transitional period before splitting the content out because that would probably mean that sometimes there's three months of content while sometimes only one month.
Another reason for why content of multiple months is included here directly is because that better enables a period of adjusting and post-processing newly added entries. Furthermore, I only add items for the last month because that allows me to better assess items for eligibility / notability for the list and allows more news reporting that could provide important information about the item. This is unlike adding items as soon as they're being reported (as in "breaking news") which imo are a bit less encyclopedic than chronicling (science history) it after a period has passed. Additionally, readers of the article may not be interested in what has happened in the last month only and the page shouldn't make them ignore the months before to only read the latest month. Not having such a consistent transitional period would also be encouraging Wikipedia:RECENTISM.
I have seen the reference errors and could fix them soon. I still oppose splitting the content out to other articles instead of improving the (partly outdated and not very mobile-ready) MediaWiki software to enable a longer and more organized list (such as by filters and tags). Usually references of one month are not used for any other section of the article.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 15:15, 26 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I don't think I have much opinion about the formatting -- at the least, I'm not motivated enough to read a thick back-and-forth discussion about it. Whatever format is being considered, it seems like it must adequately accommodate verifiable referencing, which is a fundamental tenet of the encyclopedia. Your recent edit introduced these errors, so I hope you can take care of addressing them soon. -- Mikeblas ( talk) 19:26, 26 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
 Done and I agree with you on the referencing. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 20:49, 26 July 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Origin of water on Earth Study - Add or Not?

Following edit was reverted => *27 August – Researchers report that sufficient water to fill the oceans may have always been on the Earth since the beginning of the planet's formation. [1] [2] [3] - QUESTION: Worthy to Add (noted edit or related) or Not? - Comments Welcome - Thanks - Drbogdan ( talk) 12:42, 28 August 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

If you're going to start a thread, common courtesy is to format it reasonably ( don't use excessive bolding or all caps or weird "=>" symbols meaning who-knows-what, use complete sentences, capitalize words appropriately, etc.). More importantly, if you have a case to make for inclusion, then make it. Don't just dump it here, ignoring my objections, and expect others to do so for you. Finally, I don't how many times you have to be told this, but press releases should not be used. – Deacon Vorbis ( carbon •  videos) 12:55, 28 August 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Thanks for your opinions (and unnecessary suggestions) - my position for inclusion is that the reverted edit is sufficiently cited in the responsible scientific literature (per WP:SCIRS) [1] [2] [3] to include in the article - others may (or may not) agree - the question posed above is in the spirit of collaboration (per WP:TEAMWORK, and not WP:OWN) - Thanks - Drbogdan ( talk) 14:20, 28 August 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I agree with Deacon Vorbis in that "if you have a case to make for inclusion, then make it". I think in cases like this one should also list a few reasons for the notability/significance/relevance/appropriateness of the (specific) item for this article (when said is disputed/challenged/questioned). However, I'm for keep because as far as I can see no valid, significant reason for exclusion has been made either, and because, in short, the study seems to be quite notable, and one rationale for this can be found e.g. in one of the used references:

A new study finds that Earth's water may have come from materials that were present in the inner solar system at the time the planet formed—instead of far-reaching comets or asteroids delivering such water. [...] Prior to this study, "it was commonly assumed that these chondrites formed close to the sun," Piani said. "Enstatite chondrites were thus commonly considered 'dry,' and this frequently reasserted assumption has probably prevented any exhaustive analyses to be done for hydrogen."

If the content for the item is considered inappropriate or incomplete, please consider editing it. The study has the following conclusion, it's not a "useless" "may have"-item: "We show that EC meteorites contain sufficient hydrogen to have delivered to Earth at least three times the mass of water in its oceans".
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 15:46, 28 August 2020 (UTC) Reply reply


  1. ^ a b Piani, Laurette (28 August 2020). "Earth's water may have been inherited from material similar to enstatite chondrite meteorites". Science. 369 (6507): 1110-1113. doi: 10.1126/science.aba1948. Retrieved 28 August 2020. {{ cite journal}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= ( help)
  2. ^ a b Washington University in Saint Louis (27 August 2020). "Meteorite study suggests Earth may have been wet since it formed - Enstatite chondrite meteorites, once considered 'dry,' contain enough water to fill the oceans -- and then some". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b American Association for the Advancement of Science (27 August 2020). "Unexpected abundance of hydrogen in meteorites reveals the origin of Earth's water". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 28 August 2020.

The entry is going to stay. And that's the end of this debate. Wjfox2005 ( talk) 08:23, 30 August 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. — Community Tech bot ( talk) 18:44, 5 September 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Citations don't work

Somebody made an adjustment recently and now the reference links don't work. Please fix ASAP. Wjfox2005 ( talk) 17:37, 14 September 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Thanks for reporting this. I'll fix it. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 17:44, 14 September 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Consensus: transcluding content from split articles or not?

This article series' layout has been kept for many years. Recently User:Onetwothreeip changed this layout by splitting content from it to separate articles by quarter.

In the talk page section #Original page format better - or not? we discussed the size of the article and his change. Among other things I have described a few MediaWiki software changes that would resolve related problems and found that many of my main points and suggestions (not all being related to software improvements) have been ignored/not been addressed.

  • one user said he supported splitting
  • one user stated that he "wouldn't like the page to be split either"
  • one user stated "I think that the article should be all under one article"
  • (Onetwothreeip supports and I oppose splitting of the article)

No clear votes or comprehensive and clear solutions to vote for have been presented though – it was a relatively informal voting and more a discussion than a poll / formation of consensus.

Despite no consensus favoring splitting it seems like this was inevitable as there was an artificial MediaWiki limit that may have gotten reached soon. Hence until MediaWiki changes are made there likely is not much use in any other consensus as it wouldn't be implementable. At the bottom of this section I added a preview of the current layout and explanations of this problem.

I stated that Onetwothreeip's removal of transclusions (or other improvised solutions) because he opposes it, is in violation of WP:BRD, WP:CONSENSUS and WP:RECENTISM (and conflicting with the article's series' year-long layout-format and its categories). And, also relevant to this discussion:

The current solution using templates Windows 10 version history or tables like in Effects of global warming. I have changed the section links to being both a link to the split article and a collapsible transcluded section. I think this represents a compromise that's suitable for a consensus and which only has very few to no substantial disadvantanges and many advantages.

Not transcluding the content has many disadvantages, including:

  1. it's harder / less convenient to navigate
  2. readers are more likely to read more of the article if it's included here directly or if they just have to press a [show] button instead of siloed elsewhere and just linked here
  3. it's not searchable on one page
  4. it's not as clear and as good of an overview
  5. the content doesn't really match the article's title "2020 in science" and substantially reduces the all-in-one-place main usefulness of the page
  6. there should not be any problem with transcluding content like this: it's only a bit of text and images which should lazy-load; it's very good use case of WP:Transclusion-functionality
  7. (main problem:) only including 1 month like now violates WP:RECENTISM by encouraging/making editors and readers focus on/read/edit just the most recent month. Instead of the page being something of a more longer-term chronicling of science history it becomes more of an article for "breaking news"-type items, -assumptions and -reading

Please include a rationale in your vote as decisions should not be made by plainly number of votes – see WP:NOTDEMOCRACY.

Do you wish for the page to transclude earlier months (e.g. consistently the latest 3 complete months in expanded form) or to have only links to the split articles?

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 22:47, 18 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

For clarity if possible please vote with:

  • Support for transclusion or
  • Oppose against transclusions but for a split
  • (Neutral for comments, questions and proposals for alternative solutions (whether improvised or not))

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 10:52, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I liked the old format the most, but if we absolutely need subpages, I like the transclusion. -- mfb ( talk) 23:38, 18 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
The layout of the article has always been fairly straightforward, and until this year size wasn't considered an issue. For better or worse, you made a significant change to the layout of the article by increasing the amount of entries per month and increasing the level of detail they were written in. This necessitated the article being split, which the talk page consensus agreed to. You yourself had accepted the article be split into quarters, especially compared with splitting by month. You also wanted the latest month to remain included in this page, so if this is a problem, then it's one that you were aware of when you wanted that. I would be more than happy for the latest month to not be on this page, and go directly to the relevant quarterly article.
Transclusion in this case is blatantly against the consensus to split, and only makes the article longer to load than even before the split. Any issues that occur from this being half-index and half-article can be solved easily by fully turning this into an index article. The supposed issues with functionality and navigation miss the point that the content in all four articles combined is far too much to expect readers to load, read or navigate, much like why we wouldn't have an article of a whole decade in science that was as detailed as the yearly/quarterly articles. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 01:11, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Remind me, how many people did this consensus include? -- mfb ( talk) 02:25, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Around five to ten. Onetwothreeip ( talk)
Hurricanehink argued in favor of one article. Prototyperspective is in favor of transclusion. Drbogdan started the discussion but didn't state any preference. Sm8900 said that length limits shouldn't apply to timelines and made no direct statement about a preference. That doesn't leave many others who were involved in the discussion: SMALLJIM, Onetwothreeip, Wjfox2005 supported a split. I didn't participate in that discussion but I'm in favor of transclusion. Your "consensus" is at best a 3:3 disagreement if you assume everyone supporting a split opposes a transclusion unless they said otherwise. -- mfb ( talk) 08:11, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Some editors were against Prototyperspective dramatically expanding the article, in entries and in detail. I'm not against it, as long as the article is split, as we did a few months ago. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 08:41, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
@Mfb: SMALLJIM wrote "The obvious solution is to split the page into a summary with monthly sub-pages. [...] For what it's worth, personally I wouldn't like the page to be split either" – I wouldn't consider that support for splitting. Please also read my reply to this comment of him in the discussion above.
I'm also in favor of one article instead of transclusions – but as explained earlier: due to missing MediaWiki software changes or artificial limits we'd be forced to split the content anyway – except for easily implementable changes to the artificial limitations and/or long overdue and important changes to the MW software, as proposed, it's not possible...except afaik if we remove most references (or stop using reference-templates) which should be the last thing to do imo. Further explanations of the problem and a code issue here and a relevant village pump proposal here. However, it would still be a form of one article if we transcluded all sections as in the example with transclusions above – that's also not possible due to this artificial limitation / MediaWiki software problem which causes the references to not display when that is done.
@OnetwothreeipI didn't get the impression that editors were against me expanding the article either – I think there were some concerns about length. I was trying to match the content of the article to be adequate for an article titled "2020 in science" (i.e. in terms of coverage/length and balance) and entries could be shortened if that's considered appropriate even though most are already fairly short.
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 10:52, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
  • Support – While I'm against transclusions and for leaving the article layout as it was for many years in terms of keeping all the content on one page this doesn't seem to be possible due to artificial limitations / missing MediaWiki software changes. This is why until these things are resolved and better solutions are possible or are proposed I support transcluding the content from split articles as an improvised solution that I hope to be temporary. The further rationale of my support are points 1-7 in the initial post above, especially the concerns about WP:RECENTISM and related problems of #7. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 10:52, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I wouldn't particularly have wanted the article split either, but that's unfortunately what was necessary. The issues here are not of a highly technical nature. If we combine the content of all four articles, we get a page that is too long in multiple ways. One of the issues is indeed technical in that there is too much content to load, both in written text and references (images are not really an issue). The other main issue is that extremely large articles are difficult and discouraging for readers to navigate. You should be able to quite clearly see editors objecting to the amount and size of entries that you added in earlier discussions. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 22:29, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
It wasn't necessary except due to the technical issues which I described above along with links to pages about resolving these. It wouldn't be extremely large if we make earlier months' sections expandable like they already are on mobile. (In addition to that, I also suggested some technical improvements to improve navigability and length including categories, tags and filters.) Further points about number of entries in the reply below. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 10:55, 20 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

If size is an issue, then I'd like to see everything transcluded. I never liked having certain months split off. I liked having one article to see all of the events of the year. If there are too many events, then maybe it's time to start being more restrictive, but that's for a different discussion. ♫ Hurricanehink ( talk) 22:41, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

That would do nothing to reduce the issue of size. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 23:15, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Being more restrictive would certainly reduce the size issue. As I mentioned before, I liked the old format best. Focus on important things, keep entries short. No need to split anything. -- mfb ( talk) 23:54, 19 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
If we reduce the entries that are currently in the quarterly articles, I would have no problem moving them back into this page. I would encourage and support you to reduce what you see should not be there. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 01:02, 20 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
I'm in support of being more restrictive – I just don't think this would help much with the length of the article as of right now as not many entries would be removed by what I'd think of reasonable criteria. But we could still try this out. I haven't checked all talk pages but I think I have suggested inclusion criteria as well as criteria for entry-categories (which could be filtered if the Watchlist-type filter-functionality was enabled for article tables as suggested earlier) for the first time at #Inclusion criteria and routine addition of entries (most category 3 entries shouldn't be removed and at most filtered/hidden or separated by default). Furthermore I think that most entries that would be trimmed wouldn't be entries that I have added and after Onetwothreeip's first involvement in this article series a few months ago when he removed many references I have removed a number of entries I considered clearly inappropriate which wasn't done often before. I support applying the principle of "Focus on important things, keep entries short" here and think I as well as others have done (or mostly done) so so far. I also suggested others to tag, shorten or remove entries they find to be not notable enough for the list or their length. A difference to the previous state and some other similar articles – many of which are of similar size – is that there's more work/time/effort behind it now and that the article is getting more balanced/complete in terms of what items/scientific fields it covers. If the article was still completely on one page, it would still be fairly short for an article about a topic as broad as "science" in a whole year. Please don't make problems out of things that aren't problems but do identify & resolve the actual problems (and improvised solutions can help in-between).
Making contents of some sections expandable, like they already are on mobile, would do something about the size of the page, which isn't large at all in 2020 – compare it to other websites of the world's largest websites per Alexa, including image- and video-sharing websites as well as simply websites that host full-text HTML versions of papers for example. -- Prototyperspective ( talk) 10:55, 20 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
It sounds like you're not in support of being as restrictive as most other editors would like. I would not use the Watchlist as an example of how to organise any article, as this is decidedly more technical than what Wikipedia articles should be. The fact that science overall is a large topic does not merit this or any article being particularly large. We have many articles about science, including numerous articles about science in 2020. The "year in science" articles can only be expected to provide only the most notable scientific events. If we all agree at least to some degree that the 2020 in science series should be reduced, then let's start reducing those articles and let's see at what point editors feel the reduction is too much. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 00:10, 21 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

What (not) to include?

I looked through January and analyzed what's included (in order).

  • 1/1 - The AI system capable of surpassing human experts in breast cancer sounds impressive, but the word "capable" makes me think it shouldn't be included until/unless it's actually deployed. It should be in "2020 in computing".
  • 1/1 - time travel? That's not science, even if it's theoretically possible. I don't think proposals should be included unless they are of lasting significance. So if this guy's plan actually works, send the time machine and stop me from writing this message.
  • 1/3 - Venus is volcanically active? Possible Venusian life? Yup, that's important.
  • 1/6 - guidelines for low-testosterone men? Ehh. We have a category for 2020 in health, so perhaps that could be a good spun off article.
  • 1/6 - first Earth-sized habitable planet? That would be impressive. However, it's only the first Earth-sized habitable planet discovered by TESS. I think this belongs in "2020 in astronomy"
  • 1/6 - the second repeating FRB precisely located? IDK how we feel about seconds. I don't think it belongs in this article, since it would surely go in "2020 in astronomy"
  • 1/6 - extinction of Chinese paddlefish - not sure about this one. Extinctions are rare events AFIAK
  • 1/6 - a planet discovered by a 17 year old is neat, more than I'll ever do in my life. That being said... it's not like it's a first, and again, we have "2020 in astronomy"
  • 1/7 - a giant gas structure in the Milky Way that wasn't noticed? Cool... but I don't know enough about the Radcliffe wave to know how important it is.
  • 1/7 - renaming a telescope? Ehh, again, "2020 in astronomy"
  • 1/8 - a drop in cancer in one country? Important, yes, but a good candidate to include in "2020 in health", not here
  • 1/8 - stabilizing permafrost? That sounds important.
  • 1/10 - "oldest known occurrence of an animal digestive tract" - that seems important to me.
  • 1/11 - another telescope? Bounce to 2020 in astronomy
  • 1/13 - record high ocean temperature? It seems important enough to stay, until I get around to finishing "2020 in weather"
  • 1/13 - 7.7 billion year old materials? Yes, cool and important
  • 1/15 - origins of Phosphorus? Cool.
  • 1/15 - a possible link between simple prokaryotic and complex eukaryotic microorganisms? Ehh iffy, since it's "possible"
  • 1/15 - a link from dinosaurs to birds? Ehh, we have "2020 in archeology"
  • 1/16 - info on a world-changing extinction event? Yup that's important
  • 1/16 - the giant squid genome sequenced, sure
  • 1/16 - "Quantum physicists report the first direct splitting of one photon into three using spontaneous parametric down-conversion and which may have applications in quantum technology." - I quoted because I'm not exactly sure how important this is. We have Timeline of quantum computing and communication, where this is mentioned
  • 1/17 - a video of atoms bonding and separating? Seems kinda cool, IDK
  • 1/20 - the spin/mass of a blackhole actually recorded? That seems notable
  • 1/21 - another world changing event related to an asteroid? Those don't happen every day, I'd include it.
  • 1/21 - record high greenhouse gas emissions? Sadly important
  • 1/21 - not to be anti-platypus, but a lot of animals are at risk for extinction with global warming.
  • 1/21 - a molecule that is even more efficient for solar cells? I'll bet this will be used in the near future. However, if it's one of those things that only appear in a lab, but is never used in public, then I'm not sure it should be here
  • 1/21 - man made substances caused the ozone hole... I felt like I learned this back in the 1990s. It's terrible, for sure, but is it a specifically 2020 event?
  • 1/22 - data related to a moon mission from 2019? Put it in "2020 in astronomy"
  • 1/23 - replicating a vocal tract of an ancient Egyptian priest that we know his name? It's just odd/interesting enough to be included
  • 1/23 - walking sharks are the newest in its evolutionary line? Since we don't have "2020 in biology", IDK
  • 1/24 - mitochondria not part of other cells? Sure. Any firsts about human biology should be included
  • 1/27 - a new dinosaur? Ehh, how often do these happen?
  • 1/27 - demonstration of a way to cut down on heart disease? Sure, if it works. I worry about including every presentation and research paper if it doesn't end up getting used in practice. I know science is all about building on the works of others, but this article should be about the most notable science events of the year.
  • 1/28 - climate change related news is going to be dominating the news for the rest of the century (assuming terraforming/nuclear winter doesn't happen sooner), so I think it should be included.
  • 1/31 - Covid!

So, reviewing the month, it seems like we have a lot of astronomy news. I think those should be limited to firsts, or otherwise profoundly change the accepted knowledge on a topic. That includes Venusian volcanism, the Radcliffe wave, the asteroid impacts, and measuring the spin/mass of the black hole. We have quite a bit of dinosaur and other animal info. Firsts should be included, like the giant squid genome and the mitochondria bit. Not sure about extinction events. Important global events, such as the arctic ice affecting permafrost, greenhouse gas emmissions, and ecosystems on the verge of collapse, are all clearly important. I think there is a fair amount that can be cut. If we look at what we already include, we can come up with guidelines for what to include, so the article doesn't become too unwieldly. ♫ Hurricanehink ( talk) 03:04, 21 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

I trust your judgement for removing those entries from the article. I would presume that whatever you do remove from this article is covered somewhere else on Wikipedia already. I fully endorse viewing this article as only showing entries which we would think were important ten or twenty years from now. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 04:08, 21 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
Some comments on the points mentioned above: We record 1-2 extinct species per year but the real number is expected to be a factor 100+ higher. Going by the known cases it's reasonably rare, but I don't see what would be special about this species. | FAST is the world's largest telescope, not sure how important it's formal start date is but the general start of operation is important. | Genome sequencing has become routine and new species are sequenced frequently. | Photon splitting is nice, could get practical applications | These "first video of X" are rarely relevant and largely blown up by PR departments. | Not the first spin of a black hole, just the first spin of a supermassive black hole. Still nice. | The hydrogen-producing molecule is almost certainly something that will stay limited to the lab (but we'll see). | The ozone hole news is not about the existence of it, but about its impact on warming, which is very relevant. | Chang-e 4 was the first mission on the far side, so it's quite important. -- mfb ( talk) 05:06, 21 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
  • So, reviewing the month, it seems like we have a lot of astronomy news Indeed - that mainly what I was referring to when I wrote that I think that my contributions mostly balanced this out. This doesn't mean that I consider them (or most of them) inappropriate or not sufficiently notable - just that I think that they should be balanced by coverage of other scientific fields as well (or simply that other scientific fields should not be neglected).
Please when creating the inclusion criteria also consider what I suggested for exactly this already a few months ago. I have worked extensively on this criteria, improving it as thing went on and so far there is 1 comment of 1 other user on it. It's section #Inclusion criteria and routine addition of entries (e.g. of weekly science reviews).
For example I already wrote Category-3 items exclude extinctions and discoveries of animals except if there is good reason to include them here – they should be featured in separate dedicated articles which may not exist yet.
Note that I already removed some entries I considered clearly inappropriate and tagged entries I found clearly inappropriately overly detailed. Example of my removals.
Furthermore, another thing I suggested was converting the list to a table and creating categories for entries that are also related to their notability - this way we could more easily identify items to exclude in the article itself instead of via talk-page discussions.
I'm not going to add all of my suggestions from the earlier section here again so please really at least have a glance over it. One thing that could be used as a criteria but which I haven't yet added to the earlier section would be requiring items in general to have the information also be added to at least one other non-list article (there could be a few exceptions especially as some relevant articles don't yet exist). That the information is added to one other Wikipedia article is a good indicator that it's really notable. I agree with mfb's comments above either entirely or mostly. I'll comment on a few of the items:
  • 1/1-1 exclude or category3 - should be featured in WP but not in this list (not added by me)
  • 1/1-2 category3 or exclude - agree in principle but things are a bit different than might appear to you at first glance (I don't wish to discuss this in detail and don't think this is that guy's plan nor would that even be possible if time-travel was possible in the way he described). The main point for inclusion of that item is that it was quite popular and seems to be valid science (?) even though it's likely (?) that it will never have any real-world use. It did not have a study-reference so maybe it could also be excluded on that basis. (nabm)
  • 1/6-1 exclude or category3 - I added the overly detailed tag and would be fine with excluding it, especially if it is added to another WP article (nabm)
  • 1/6-2 exclude or category3 - 2020 in astronomy (see Template:2020 in space) as well as List of exoplanets discovered in 2020 which already exists (a wikilink which I added to this article a while ago) (nabm)
  • 1/6-3 category3 or exclude - agree (nabm)
  • 1/6-4 exclude via criteria I already specified as a suggestion earlier (nabm)
  • 1/6-5 exclude - see 1/6-2 (nabm)
  • 1/7-1 category2 or category3 I think this should remain in the article. An entire article for the discovery usually indicates sufficient notability. But could be even be a category-3 entry with less visibility (nabm)
  • 1/7-2 exclude - agree even though it's relevant in terms of e.g. scientists not simply naming things as they would like to name them right away. Maybe it could be added as a very short category-3 item but I'd favor exclusion, especially if it's featured in another article (nabm)
  • 1/8-1 exclude - (in principle/asap); agree and somebody should create such an article imo (nabm)
However, as indicated somewhat in the earlier criteria suggestions, we should imo combine discussions/considerations like this with more numeric indicators of notability that include the paper's metrics and altmetrics as well as what experts said about the findings if they were cited by news reports or have published about it. And so within a framework where notability doesn't just rest on such considerations but also on e.g. publicity/extent of news coverage (see the 6 main criteria at the top of the Inclusion criteria section linked above).
Furthermore I think that we should remove items in a kind of "responsible" way that allows others to identify missing, useful articles. One way to do so would be moving removed entries to e.g. a draft article or into a collapsed box in the talk page along with relevant info if possible. This would be especially useful if a rationale is added such as the ones given above and if such includes redlinks to missing relevant articles where the information should be added to instead. Also note that categories could be implemented via an improvised solution until MediaWiki software changes for allowing tags, categories and filters: for example by subdividing the months sections' into 3 (for 3 categories) or via different styling (e.g. different bullet points, coloring, icons or font-styles).
-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 11:16, 21 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
The four articles combined are at 700,000 bytes combined, so it's going to take a lot of reduction to merge them into one or two articles, and also add entries for the rest of the year. If there are any entries that are questionable whether they should be included, I would treat that as indicating it doesn't belong here. Any discussion of changes to Wikipedia software is a waste of time really. Onetwothreeip ( talk) 05:54, 23 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
700,000 isn't that unreasonable, if you consider the number of citations in this article, and how many astronomy and archeology items are likely to be removed. If I'm correct, the new articles we need are 2020 extinctions and/or Biology in 2020, Weather in 2020 (there's a draft in the process). I agree with what Prototyperspective said, we should be responsible with removing/moving entries to figure out what's missing. As it stands, the article is bloated toward astronomy/archeology. That could be partly because they're more active sciences, and there aren't too many chemistry/physics discoveries these days (compared to their heyday centuries ago). So we have to find the right balance. We might not get there this year even, but perhaps we can come up with more guidelines for 2021 in science. ♫ Hurricanehink ( talk) 14:13, 25 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply

Which stars can see Earth as a transiting exoplanet?

User:Drbogdan recently added (keep) an item about this study like so:

Astronomers identify 508 stars (with likely related exoplanetary systems) within 326 light-years (100 parsecs) away that have a favorable positional vantage point of detecting Earth as an exoplanet transiting the Sun. [1] [2] [3]

It was quickly removed (delete) by User:Agricolae with rationale "not a noteworthy breakthrough, just another batch of exoplanets with a unique headline-grabbing spin". Readdition was reverted (delete) by User:Deacon Vorbis with rationale "removal was best; this is not particularly noteworthy, and Wikipedia is not a dumping ground of headlines. See also WP:TENYEARTEST".

A relevant deletion discussion with relevant rationales/votes is here.

I'm in favor of keep of a short, not in-depth, entry for it. It's highly notable/particularly noteworthy and has gotten lots of media-coverage by large and reliable sources. The reverts could constitute WP:BRD-violations but we could also opt for the article to exclude items by default and require discussion for contentious inclusions first after their removal by which the removals would be fine and appropriate.
The study's significance is less, or at least not only, about the stars (not a batch of "exoplanets" btw) in specific and shows a novel approach/type of investigation/question being asked in this sophisticated form (e.g. described as "unique cosmic perspective exposed in a new paper" here); the entry is short.
An indicator for significance is that there is a dedicated article based mostly on the study ( Detecting Earth from distant star-based systems) which however is currently being discussed for deletion. The indicator of significance of information about it being featured in other articles is not present otherwise but this information could be added to article/s which currently only link to the former page. The (unreliable, often delayed and imo in this case delayed/sub-potential due to specific altmetrics-related reasons I won't describe) indicator of metrics/reads/altmetrics seems to be sufficient for at least a very short or short entry so far. I didn't check indicators of scientific expert assessments of the study. I think a short or very short entry is due and while I only add items the month afterwards, there's no good reason to delay inclusion. For concerns about recentism: we should not have only the most recent month visible on this page and should put less emphasis (implicitly and maybe even explicitly) on the most recent items / month.

-- Prototyperspective ( talk) 09:18, 25 October 2020 (UTC)` Reply reply

This is not a notable event, let alone a breakthrough in any real sense. It is just the discovery of yet another batch of exoplanets, yawn, that the authors were able to get reported more broadly by making claims about hypothetical little green men on the exoplanets supposedly being able to view Earth from them based on arbitrary and unfounded assumptions about the capabilities of the little green men. The discovery of exoplanets does not represent a breakthrough anymore, not even a noteworthy progression of the field, no matter what made-up special context one gives them. Move along, nothing to see here. In spite of the spin, ten years from now nobody will likely care about this result such that it will be viewed as a noteworthy scientific discovery of the year. That being said, this whole set of pages has devolved into lists of headline-grabbing popsci press releases, as if those serve as an adequate proxy for actual noteworthy scientific progress - most actual noteworthy achievements are only recognized as such in retrospect, and not just a month afterward, while most of these science-by-press-release examples end up being forgot as soon as the next press-release announcing the next insignificant 'great discovery' catches the eye of a science reporter with a deadline. Agricolae ( talk) 10:46, 25 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply
To be fair, I don't think Agricolae's characterization of this a batch of exoplanets is right; it's not even that. This doesn't detail any new exoplanets. However, as I said elsewhere, this merely counts (and categorizes by surface temperature, oooooooh) the number of known stars within some arbitrary distance (100 pc I think it was) from whose vantage point one could see Earth transit the Sun. This is mildly interesting. This is also not any sort of noteworthy achievement. It's basic work collating data from star surveys that anyone could have done. It's a run-of-the-mill story that no one will care about looking back. Wait a decade and see how much this study gets cited, or if anyone even talks about this beyond the pop-sci press just glomming onto yet another flashy press release (complete with a red herring about SETI). This page has been swamped by enthusiastic editors dumping run-of-the-mill crap here. But I say, the line must be drawn hyeah! No further! – Deacon Vorbis ( carbon •  videos) 13:38, 25 October 2020 (UTC) Reply reply


  1. ^ Kaltenegger, L.; Pepper, J. (20 October 2020). "Which stars can see Earth as a transiting exoplanet?". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 499 (1): L111–L115. doi: 10.1093/mnrasl/slaa161. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  2. ^ Letzer, Rafi (22 October 2020). "Aliens on 1,000 nearby stars could see us, new study suggests". Live Science. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  3. ^ Friedlander, Blaine (21 October 2020). "Smile, wave: Some exoplanets may be able to see us, too". Cornell University. Retrieved 24 October 2020.