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2016 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!


This election ended Oct 18 '16 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution


1,225 voters were eligible, 484 visited the site during the election, 332 visited the election page, and 199 voted

From yahoo answers to forums and wikipedia, I've been disappointed in the clarity of chemistry explanations online. Many answers were dubious, and answers to very specific questions we're elusive. Whenever I wondered about a key detail, I'd find myself feeling alone, and I know many scientists feel the same way.

With this site, I no longer feel like I'm on my own when I find myself perplexed by one of chemistry's finer points. Nowhere else on the internet is chemical theory held up to such a high standard, and I want that to continue.

I see the chemistry stack as not only a means of providing good answers to uncommon questions but also as a means of filling in the blanks that tend to exist in chemistry textbooks. There are many questions that should occur to any reader, but that tend to be under-explained in textbooks and if we have a community willing to put some in-depth research and expertise into their answers then we're making chemistry a less arcane science.

As a moderator, I would encourage discussion of specific questions and conclusive answers to common questions so as to improve the breadth and quality of the information available while minimizing the quantity.

About me
I am starting my third year as an undergraduate at Oxford. My main interests lie in organic chemistry and quantum mechanics, although as an undergrad, I still retain a broad exposure to all aspects of chemistry.


Why I might deserve a vote

  • I spend a lot of time here, so I have a good idea of current policies here. I contribute to meta as well.
  • I'm in chat often and am easily contactable.
  • I enjoy being here and would like to have a greater role in contributing to the quality of the website.
  • I have a relatively good understanding of chemistry and try to be helpful to askers.

In general, I hope my activity on the site speaks for itself.


Why you might not want to vote for me

I think that at the very least, voters deserve to know the flip side.

  • I'm relatively young.
  • I can be a little impatient sometimes.
  • I don't spend a great deal of time on mother meta and may not have such a good idea of site-wide policies.
  • In the past, I have often erred on the side of downvoting/closure. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to you to decide.
  • $\begingroup$ Hello relatively young. I'm Rubisco, TIPS, DEAD, MAR, INA, and just all over the place. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 8 '16 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubisco Sometimes, I'm also a little impatient. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Oct 8 '16 at 16:51

I have been here a long time, longer than one would think if you looked at my activity. In the past I was a lurker and too chicken to contribut, a young, sheepish grad student; now I'm a young, sheepish grad student...maybe not much has changed. So, perhaps my position is one of regret that I didn't participate early on. I am tired of lurking! It's time to participate in the way I can best contribute.

Because of my background (theoretical chemistry and spectroscopy), my greatest impact on the site will always be in the janitorial role, editing posts and (eventually) accessing more of the review queues. Except, there is no overlap between cleaning toilets and LaTeX, which I love dearly (LaTeX, not cleaning toilets).

Two years of teaching undergraduate-level general chemistry and quantum mechanics taught me how much of a pain some of these homework-type questions can be, but also how to transform the mundane into something valuable and interesting. It also means I have plenty of experience dealing with misinformation and poor communication.

I look forward to answering in the Q&A and continuing to perform some of the dirty work, regardless of the outcome here.

  • $\begingroup$ Arguably, sometimes cleaning toilets feels less frustrating than LaTeX. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 5 '16 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubisco Not when that toilet was in a large supermarket. Still grosser than overfull hbox. $\endgroup$ – pentavalentcarbon Oct 5 '16 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ If any one intersted to find their candiate score go here data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/298418/… $\endgroup$ – Eka Oct 6 '16 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ Patience is the second most important characteristic of a chemist. And the work on this site is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, being a loyal member of this site for more than four years is a solid basis to build on. $\endgroup$ – Loong Oct 6 '16 at 16:24

I am a freshman Chemistry and Computer Science major at the University of Texas at Austin. I joined the StackExchange community at the end of my Senior year of high school, and have been enjoying answering people's questions since then. While a high standard is important for StackEchange questions and answers, I feel that we - as a community - could do more to encourage new users to stay.

Personally, my first answer to a questions on StackExchange was incorrect, and I almost abandoned the community after my answer had a score of around -3 and rude comments saying that I was wrong. Since this blunder, I have learned to be more careful with my answers. I have come to appreciate all that StackExhange has to offer - from the great community on the periodic table chat to those who chose to spend their time answering other people's questions.

While I might be little more than a freshman in college, I have a burning passion for science that I would like to share with all those who come to this site. While I might not have as much leadership experience as the other candidates, I promise that I will do everything in my power to make Chemistry StackExchange an even better community.

  • $\begingroup$ I think you should format this (paragraphs) and maybe concentrate on, well, your pros as a candidate. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Oct 4 '16 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the suggestion. $\endgroup$ – Niels Kornerup Oct 5 '16 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ As he said above, how exactly would you having moderator status be good over other candidates? $\endgroup$ – ChemBird Oct 6 '16 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ Honestly, the other candidates are more qualified than me and probably deserve to be a moderator more than me. Despite this, I still would be a positive influence on the community as a moderator, so I decided to run and see what happens. $\endgroup$ – Niels Kornerup Oct 6 '16 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ This site has about 45000 visits per day. Most of the anonymous readers are probably students like @Benzene, who thus could be a suitable representative of this important target audience. $\endgroup$ – Loong Oct 6 '16 at 17:37

I am nominating myself for a moderator position, as I think that I fulfill all the general criteria for moderators that are stated above.


I am by far no one of the high rep guys around here, as I do not answer many questions. However, I don’t think that I have to do this, as there are many smart people around here, providing good to very good answers. That makes me proud to be at least a small part of this site.

But besides being an active answering, voting and commenting member, there is this other additional aspect of every stackexchange, that needs to be managed somehow. That is where I would like to contribute, by working in the background to keep the site clean and tidy.

Personally, I am very patient and I try to be as objective as possible during arguments. I am experienced enough to know, that it is impossible to please everybody, but at least I try to find a solution wherever I can. If needed, my MSc degree in chemistry should be sufficient to value the quality of most asked questions.

  • $\begingroup$ Funny to see all the 'not so nice' candidate score information. $\endgroup$ – pH13 - Yet another Philipp Oct 3 '16 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ Candidate score is not a very useful guideline especially on a relatively small site like Chemistry :) For example jonsca "only" has 15/40. You can play with this. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Oct 4 '16 at 4:09
  • $\begingroup$ Candidate score schmandidate score. I'm happy you ran and here's the table flip of rivalry. (ノ^◡^)ノ︵ ┻━┻ $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 4 '16 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Power is work per time. If you extrapolate the duration of your membership to that of other candidates, your candidate score may no longer look ‘not so nice’ to you. $\endgroup$ – Loong Oct 6 '16 at 15:46

Hey guys/gals. I'm Rubisco, TIPS, DEAD, MAR, INA, and just all over the place.

I'm right there when you don't want me to, so I'd make a good mod I say. I've been the most active meta user for as long as I remember. I vote a lot. I edit a lot. I have the most overall reviews on this site, with over two thousand close votes. I have some rep and activity on meta.SE too, and I generally know what I'm doing or I wouldn't do it. I also am a Marshal.

I'm young, and consistently nagging about high school chemistry. I engage in all possible site activities except for answering and asking. That doesn't make me ignorant about what the posters need, seek or feel. I'm also one of the most active chatters, and really, my absence is considered extraordinary and abnormal.

I am nominating because the best help I can afford here is help with moderation. I've embraced it, and strictly believe in passive moderation, as long as it doesn't hurt quality. You can grab some popcorn at times and come and watch our efforts at meta trying to make sure the questions that deserve it get the answer.

I will be whoever I was, whether I get elected or not.

  • $\begingroup$ If we vote for you, can we choose your new name on meta? ;) $\endgroup$ – Jan Oct 3 '16 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan I've decided I'll keep one name if I ever become a mod on any site. So OK. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 4 '16 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ I should like to mention that @Rubisco is the long-time owner of an active chat room that is not known to be the stage for regular drama or other disruptions. $\endgroup$ – Loong Oct 4 '16 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Loong Which chatroom is that? $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Oct 5 '16 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Mart Definitely-Not-G-Block. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 5 '16 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Mart chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/21291/… $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 5 '16 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ keep calm and let them tables on teh floor! ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) $\endgroup$ – pH13 - Yet another Philipp Oct 5 '16 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ I want to upvote half this comment thread but alas, I can’t =C $\endgroup$ – Jan Oct 5 '16 at 13:46

I nominate myself for a moderator position.

My motivation is egoistic and logical: I like to spend time on a site that meets my personal quality requirements. If I get elected, I can guarantee that at least one of the new moderators fulfils my requirements. If I don’t get elected, the community must have found two new moderators that are even better.

I have the required qualifications and experience for the position:

I have served as a moderator on German Language for more than one year. Hence, I am acquainted with the responsibilities, tasks, tools, and problems of a moderator. It is a small site with a limited workload; that leaves me sufficient time for activities on other sites.

My background includes a doctorate degree in chemistry. Therefore, I can judge the content of most posts on this site. My experience is centred on radiochemistry, radiation protection, radiology, and nuclear safety. Since this site doesn’t get many questions concerning such topics, I don’t write many expert answers. I usually answer some trivial homework or nomenclature questions, or I make edits. Hence, if I have to do moderator duties, this would not reduce the rate of expert answers.

  • $\begingroup$ Actually (unfortunatelly) your ability to properly judge whether post is correct or not does not get any bonus from moderation status. Currently, as it is, SE does not consider even utterly wrong answer deletable as long as it's not just paragraph of garbage. I disagree with this rule on exact science boards, but what this means is that as a moderator, you can do just as much as normal user - downvote and comment. $\endgroup$ – Tomáš Zato Oct 3 '16 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ What a shame, you actually mention how getting elected here would stop you moderating the high-throughput site German D; $\endgroup$ – Jan Oct 3 '16 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ This guy . . . Loong . . . a man of correct notation and typography . . . he is just being modest in how he's helped us with his edits. Without him, God knows how untidy this site would've looked. His discipline, meta participation and policy enforcing have been no less than a mod, despite him already moderating another site. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 4 '16 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ Loong is a great chemistry SE user, who probably deserves this position way more than me. $\endgroup$ – Niels Kornerup Oct 5 '16 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ Subtle humour and deep genuine interest for quality assurance. I posted only once in chemistry.SE and clicked this election's warning just to satisfy my curiosity, but after reading your words, I would like to have at least one moderator like you in every SE site. Btw, where is that upvote button? $\endgroup$ – Armfoot Oct 7 '16 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Armfoot No voting buttons on mod election nominations. You'll have your chance to "upvote" in a few days once the election starts. :-) $\endgroup$ – hBy2Py Oct 7 '16 at 23:53

This election is complete.