Questions about scientific and technical photography should absolutely be on topic. Neither the title of the stack nor any portion of the help section specifies pictorial / artistic photography. I truly believe that if we went over to area 51, more than 80% of the responses would be that there is no need for a "sciencePhoto.SE" because "Photo.SE" already handles it.
I recognize that there is a division between the people who design cameras and the people who use them and I think it is a shame. IMO, it has arisen as cameras have become more technologically complex and required the involvement of "pure" engineers. Don't forget, Daguerre and Talbot were both scientific photographers. Plus the flash unit, 35mm frame, and rangefinder camera were all invented by practicing photographers, not engineers. Photo.SE is one the web's premiere resources and I would like to see it play a role in bridging the gap between techs and artists so that those sorts of innovations can continue. I admit that some of the questions that arise concerning very technical details and scientific applications are not of interest to the majority but many people are still helped by these topics. And is it really so bad to have a few scientific discussions dilute the litany of "what filter is this" regularly appearing on the home page?
Photography is the science, art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. Photography is employed in many fields of science, manufacturing (e.g., photolithography), and business, as well as its more direct uses for art, film and video production, recreational purposes, hobby, and mass communication
Wikipedia emphasis by me
Technical photographic techniques have been pivotal to winning World War II, improving quality of life in places like the Tennessee Valley, mitigating natural disasters, and feeding the world.
I will admit I'm a bit biased here because I've devoted my life's work to advancing technical photography and hope that I've helped others in doing so. Further, I think that we engineers and technicians can benefit from pictorial sensibilities just as much as artistic types can benefit from some good science. So beyond the definitive relevance of scientific photography, there is benefit to shared discourse as well. Ergo I believe it will actually enhance this site to allow scientific and technical photographic questions.
I do, however, recognize that questions regarding computer vision and programming are out of scope and that we need to draw a fine but definite line in order to maintain the focus of the SE. I therefore propose this be the litmus test:
EDIT: Modified slightly to reinforce that the SE is about imaging but any "pursuit of an image" is on topic.
If a question (and therefore its answers) enhances a person's ability to create a "durable image" or any part of the image chain including hardware, or software used to create a durable image regardless of the purpose of that image, then it should be considered on topic.
Note that my proposed compromise still leaves a bit of a gray area. I my latter example, design and operation of the flash unit is on topic while design and operation of the gun range is off topic. This does not, however, address the salience of a discussion about the photo registration and trigonometry necessary to determine the speed of the bullet. To me, this is very similar to questions about captioning for PJ or giclee for FA. IMHO those topics were never well agreed upon either.