The science tag is for:
Questions about science and the perception of science in a fictional world. Use [science-based] for questions on how to explain fictional things based on real-world science. Use tags relating to specific fields (such as for example [space-exploration], [astronomy], [biology], [xenobiology], [mathematics], [sociology], ...) for questions relating to particular fields of science.
Initially, the tag usage was consistent with this definition; users asked how people would treat science in a set of given circumstances. However, usage quickly departed from this definition.
As noted by the relevant meta discussion Dealing with the science tag, many people tag science when they have a question that deals with scientific explanations, but isn't necessarily about the study of science itself. The meta discussion had one solution to this problem:
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.
However, it's been nearly 4 years since that discussion, and over 300 questions have the science tag. No one re-tagged, and now the popular usage, imo, clearly defies the tag wiki. I think the tag wiki has been insufficient to promote proper usage because a) so many questions have already been mistagged, and b) the tag name itself is just too ambiguous.
I propose that we either
- Delete the science tag, since the large majority of questions with this tag defy the original definition. Salvaging it arguably might not be useful.
- Update the tag wiki to include questions that use science, not just questions about in-world science. This course of action assumes that tag definitions do or should change with usage, not the other way around. It also assumes that there is a clear distinction between science questions about using science and science-based questions about using science so keeping the science tag would create a meaningful distinction.
- Rename the tag to science-in-society to accurately reflect its wiki and original use. Then remove it from irrelevant questions.
What seems like the most reasonable course of action? Alternatively this might be a non-issue so no course of action is needed. Or the original suggestion of retagging existing questions could work if someone commits to doing so, but imo we still need a less ambiguous name.