About three years ago, in the early days of HSM, it was decided on meta that it was probably not useful to tag posts by the names of relevant scientists. The reason for this is that it would lead to a huge amount of tags which would only be used once, or a handful of times, which only causes cluttering and doesn't really serve much of a purpose.

However, the most highly-upvoted answer to that old question does mention the possibility of creating some exceptions to this rule. I think it is now time to try to make our policy more concrete/clear.

  1. Do we want to allow any "name tags"? What exactly is the reason we do/do not (some arguments against have been given in the answer to the linked question)?

  2. a) If yes, how do we decide which scientists get a name tag?

    b) If yes, what formatting do we use for the name tags? , or does suffice?

    c) If yes, I propose to use this thread to maintain a list of those scientists who have their own name tag (for future reference, e.g. when justifying the removal of other name tags).


1 Answer 1


I have a very utilitarian view of tagging. A tag that's applied to only one question may describe the question accurately, but it's probably not very helpful for organizing the site. A rule of thumb I like to use: could people reasonably be expected to have a particular interest or expertise in the work of the tag topic (i.e. scientist) in question, and therefore want to "follow" or "favorite" the tag? If so, create it; if not, don't.

Regarding formatting, I would suggest using whatever communicates the meaning/intent of the tag best, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all format. I can think of only a single famous Lavoisier, and a single famous Mendeleev. People (especially new users) will instinctively be looking for an "Einstein" tag, not an "Albert-Einstein" tag. Last name is probably enough there. On the other hand, Curie on its own may not be; the question is probably about Marie, but it could be about Pierre. And with Bernoulli, forget about it. In those cases, you might want firstname-lastname.


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