I've been keeping my eye on the tag for the last couple of months. It has something of an odd history; at first, it was applied to questions about how a society treats, thinks of, and carries out science. An example of such a question is Why would magic and science be split?.

The problem is, lately (meaning the last few questions which have used it) it seems to be misapplied, used in lieu of the tag. I considered adding it as a synonym, but I thought that the three or so questions that used it as it was originally intended used it well. On the other hand, that's a really small number of questions!

What do we think? Should we synonymize it with and remove it from these three questions, let it be, or do something else entirely?

For what it's worth, I feel that is being similarly severely misapplied (i.e. being used where should be), which is indicative of the same problem - which is why I've brought the issue up on meta. Any thoughts on that - and, more importantly, how to fix that - are also welcome.


For questions that require answers based in hard science, not magic or pseudo-science, but do not require scientific citations. Consider alternatively the hard-science and reality-check tags. Avoid using this tag as the only tag on a question.

For questions relating to worlds with a setting of common science-fiction.

No excerpt currently.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Bottom line is that science fiction is science based. Otherwise it's just fiction, right? $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 1:58
  • $\begingroup$ I added the excerpts to the question. It seems that suggesting alternative excerpts should be in scope as a solution. I'm not sure what the science-fiction excerpt means, and science doesn't have an excerpt. If you'd prefer that as a separate question, you can of course roll back. $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Vincent Most people wouldn't really say that Star Wars is "science-based". Most people would say that Star Wars is science fiction. There are, of course, people who vociferously say that it's not "real" or "true" science fiction, but according to common usage - that is, what the vast majority of people mean when they say "science fiction" - it certainly is. $\endgroup$
    – R.M.
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


It might just be my opinion, but, , and are really different subjects. The first one refers to a methodology and/or an academic subject, the second to a genre for various supports, or maybe a sub-culture. And the last is a meta-tag used by the OP to indicate the kind of answers they are expecting.

So aliases would be wrong IMHO. I don't think that's the right way to go.

Now, if tags have been misused, we should correct them, and make sure everyone knows the correct use of the tag. So re-tag and clarify tag-wikis.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ But what would be a legitimate use of the science-fiction tag on worldbuilding where the science-based tag would not be more appropriate? $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 5:27
  • $\begingroup$ @celtschk How does the Force affects the political landscape in the Star Wars Universe. This is not a good question, but you get the idea. Star Wars is Science Fiction, it is about worldbuilding, but not science-based. At least I would not tag it Science-based. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ ^ this. Those tags are entirely different and should NOT be synonyms at all. Misuses should be corrected. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 9:28

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