Given the recent question here on meta about the deletion of a comment stating a political opinion on an answer which also stated a political opinion which sparked a lively debate, let me bring up the more general question:

What do people think about questions, answers, comments or discussions on aspects of politics specifically relevant to mathematicians on MathOverflow (main or meta)? -- Should they be allowed to a certain extent, under certain conditions and in certain formats, or should any politics just be considered off-topic on the site?

On the one hand, it is likely uncontroversial that there are political questions which are of specific interest to scientists in general and mathematicians in particular, and it may be interesting and beneficial to discuss them among mathematicians from all over the world. On the other, politics is something quite different than mathematics. Also, contributions on aspects of politics are likely to be more delicate to moderate than purely mathematical contributions, and they have the potential to be a source of serious dissent between people.

-- Any thoughts?

*Edit (2020-08-19):* Let me add a non-exhaustive(!) list of examples
of aspects of politics which may be relevant in the context
(in no particular order):

The ways universities and research are financed. -- For example, how funds are distributed, which priorities are set, how much money universities get from the state, whether students need to pay tuition fees, and so on.

The way copyright for scientific publications is regulated. In particular to what extent it does hinder research by restricting access of researchers to parts of the body of published literature, and whether it gives rise to unjustified profits of publishers.

The types and numbers of positions available to mathematicians at universities, and their distribution among the subfields of mathematics.

State-imposed rules for making hiring decisions at universities. For example such which say that hiring decisions must be partly based on attributes of candidates not primarily related to qualification, merits and suitability for the position in question -- such as gender, social or ethnic origin, party membership, score in the national social credit system, etc..

The regulation of the admission of students in mathematics. -- For example, whether it is uniform across the country or whether it differs between universities, and whether it is free for everyone, purely based on talent, or based on some kind of quota system, etc..

Which academic degrees do exist, and who has a say on the corresponding curricula and requirements.

The quality and level of the teaching of mathematics in public schools, the contents of the curricula, and whether children have access to reasonable mathematics education independent of gender, social origin, etc..

The role and esteem of mathematics and mathematicians in society, and what is done from the side of politics to raise (or lower) the latter.

shouldhave been only a question of policy and moderation). I think that comment thread did not reflect well on us, including specifically me and the people with whom I agree politically. $\endgroup$mathematician political prisonerinto Google brought up many names including José Luis Massera, Vadim Anatolyevich Yankov, Azat Miftakhov. Would this be a discussion on aspects of politics relevant to mathematicians on MathOverflow? I can see where it might fit better on academia.se, but not every mathematician is an academic – what if an industrial mathematician is held as a political prisoner? $\endgroup$6more comments