Wikipedia Science Entries: It's a Man's World
Volunteers aim to give female scientists their due in 'edit-a-thon'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 16, 2013 5:01 PM CDT
Maia Weinstock, left, a Brown University graduate, works with Anne Fausto-Sterling, a professor of biology, during a Wikipedia "edit-a-thon," on the Brown campus in Providence, R.I.   (Steven Senne)

(Newser) – Look up a female scientist or technologist on Wikipedia, and you might not find what you're looking for. Many don't have detailed pages or any page at all on the free online encyclopedia created by contributors, the vast majority of them men. It's a symptom of a larger problem for women in so-called STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—where men far outnumber women. Now, Brown University biology professor Anne Fausto-Sterling and alumna Maia Weinstock hope to help chip away at the problem with a Wikipedia "edit-a-thon."

They gathered dozens of students and some faculty members this week at Brown to train them on how to add and edit pages. They also provided lists of suggestions for women to add, entries to clean up, or those who needed more detail, along with links to source material. Among those listed was Ingeborg Hochmair, who does not have a page even though last month she won the prestigious Lasker Award for medical research for her work developing the modern cochlear implant. By contrast, her husband, Erwin Hochmair, an accomplished engineer who helped develop the device but did not win a Lasker prize, has his own page.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
Oct 19, 2013 1:54 AM CDT
Wikipedia has been and will continue to be a joke.
Oct 17, 2013 8:07 PM CDT
Seems to me Wikipedia is more edited by children, biased spiteful children. They'll do a "Speedy Deletion" on you if they simply don't like the person or entity you're writing about, despite having valid references and significant information. They also "vandalize" in areas they think most Wikipedia officials may not notice. Wiki claims there are no designated "editors" or "monitors" in the Wikipedia site. But you just try to add a new article or edit an existing one... At least a couple editors (who were watching) will jump all over you, practically call you names, change your article around (a lot), then even threaten you to not "violate the site's protocol" again or you'll be banned from making contributions again. This has happened to me more than once. Note: My contributions were right on point an inoffensive in every way.
Oct 17, 2013 3:09 PM CDT
Yes, this isn't anything new. If you want to create pages about women in science on Wikipedia, oddly enough, you need to start by creating pages about women in science. But if they're looking for a 50/50 split of male and female science content, they'll have to go against history. I'm not saying men make better scientists, but they have been responsible for most of the....sciencing.