article:why-advise (view original)
There are many reasons why you, as a professional scientist, may want to answer users' questions about their projects. Most importantly, academic science depends strongly on public engagement in, and understanding of, science. Being an adviser will allow you to connect with the public in a unique and deep way. Your feedback on people's projects will help members of the public participate in science who would not otherwise be able to do so.
Participating here can also help you. Most importantly, interacting scientifically with a wide range of people may help you explore new ideas, perhaps to inspire ways of looking at problems that you would not have thought of before. You can suggest research projects that you'd like to see done, perhaps including some of the ideas you've filed away for a another day. You might also find people who would be interested in helping with your research: excellent programmers, machinists, etc. While it may seem gauche to say it, it is also something you might be able to add to your CV that shows an interest in "broader impacts."
Why not try it for a while and see if you like it? Participating requires only as much effort as you can put in. You can decline to answer any users' questions that you do not have time or inclination to respond to. You can ask to be removed from the of list of participating scientists anytime you like. You do not need to join IGoR or wikidot in order to be added to the list of scientists willing to answering user's questions by email. (Membership in IGoR is only necessary for creating or editing project and article pages.)
If you are a scientist and would like to volunteer to answer users' questions, please contact us Requisite qualifications include 3 first-author publications in reputable science journals. Graduate training in a scientific field (e.g. a Ph.D., masters thesis, or advancement to Ph.D. candidacy) and/or college-level teaching experience in STEM fields may count towards publications.