MRC Women in Science Wikipedia edit-a-thons in conjunction with the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Wikimedia UK
Building on the highly successful group ‘Edit-a-thon’ that the Royal Society and Wikimedia UK ran as part of Ada Lovelace Day to improve Wikipedia articles about women in science in October 2012, as part of its Centenary, the Medical Research Council has joined forces with the Royal Society and Wikimedia to present a series of edit-a-thons through 2013.
6 events are planned, including:
- MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Mill Hill London – Thursday 25 July to celebrate Rosalind Franklin’s birthday
- The Royal Society – Friday 11 October
- MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Cambridge – Monday 25 November
- Royal Society of Edinburgh – Tuesday 3 December
Further events are planned in late 2013 in Central London, Edinburgh and at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.
The events are open to people who are new to Wikipedia and experienced Wikipedia editors. Female editors are particularly encouraged to attend.
At the workshops representatives from Wikimedia UK will explain how Wikipedia works and be on hand to answer questions about editing and improving Wikipedia articles.
Drawing on resources from the MRC, The Royal Society, Wellcome Trust and National Library of Scotland, the events will have access to a rich collection of printed and electronic works about women in science, including biographies and works authored by scientists. At each event the location’s librarians will explain more about the collections and provide guidance on finding sources.
Before the events we will select Wikipedia articles relating to women in science which need improving, but attendees are welcome to suggest in advance articles or names of women in science they feel need Wikipedia pages to be created for or enhanced. Attendees will be encouraged to work together to edit those articles, using the location’s resources There will also be a Wikipedia co-ordination page for all editing events.
Please bring your own laptop if you have one. Alternatively, a limited number of laptops are available. Please contact us if you would like to reserve one. Power points, WiFi and drinks refreshments will be available.
If you’d like to take part remotely then please join us on Twitter at: #WISWIKI
As part of each Edit-a-thon there will be a panel discussion led by eminent female scientists on women’s experiences in science, and diversity in the scientific workforce more generally, together with how underrepresentation can be tackled in the future.
Attending these events
These events are free to attend and open to all. Please register for a ticket before attending. Up to 14 places are available for each Edit-a-thon and 50 or so places for the panel discussion.
NIMR Event Thursday 25th July – Rosalind Franklin’s birthday
On 25 July, what would have been Rosalind Franklin’s 93rd birthday, MRC’s National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) celebrated the role of women in science by hosting the first MRC/Royal Society/Wikimedia UK edit-a-thon. The day’s programme also featured a talk by Professor Athene Donald, from the University of Cambridge, about Women in Science.
As part of its Centenary celebrations the MRC has joined with the Royal Society and Wikimedia UK to present a series of edit-a-thons focused on women in science in order to increase the profile of prominent female scientists whose work was funded by the MRC and across science more generally..
Wikipedia aims to be an encyclopaedic summary of all human knowledge. If young women today are looking for inspirational female scientists they will turn to the internet to find them, and that often means Wikipedia. Although a number of prominent female scientists, past and present, do have a Wikipedia page, there is often very little information on them. The Wikipedia edit-a-thons are an attempt to improve this.
Photo courtesy of Jenifer Glynn
After a welcome from Mel Nunn, the MRC’s Head of Equalities who created the concept of a series of Centenary edit a thons, an expert Wikipedia editor started the day by outlining the aims, ethos and methods of Wikipedia. Then staff from Wikimedia UK gave a practical demonstration of the mechanics of registering an account in Wikipedia, creating a user page, using talk pages, checking the revision history of a page, and using the editing tools. Workshop attendees ranged from professors to undergraduates.
Five came from within NIMR, but the majority were members of the public. Some editors participated in the editing session remotely, including at least two people in the USA. The workshop took place in the NIMR Library so printed and electronic information resources and expert assistance were readily at hand. NIMR Deputy Librarian Patti Biggs introduced a tip sheet that she has written on searching for biographical information, plus some published reference sources. Phoebe Harkins from the Wellcome Library helped attendees to register with the Wellcome Library so that they could access a number of online historical information resources.
The day included a talk by Professor Dame Athene Donald who gave a talk to more than 100 delegates on “Where are the Women?” and a lively panel discussion, hosted by NIMR Director Jim Smith and Anne O’Garra, co-chair of NIMR’s Athena SWAN team.
Athene Donald also read out a letter from Jenifer Glynn, Rosalind Franklin’s sister.
Athene Donald slides [pdf]
Jenifer Glynn letter [pdf]
The event generated a significant amount of traffic on Twitter with many of the editors tweeting about the event and a number of people commented on Athene Donald’s Occam’s Corner Guardian Science Blog.
The event closed with the cutting of a birthday cake to commemorate Rosalind Franklin’s birthday which included a copy of Photo 51, the X-ray diffraction image of DNA taken by Rosalind Franklin in May 1952.
Wikipedia pages created and enhanced during the edit-a-thon
Newly created pages for NIMR women scientists
- Delphine Parrott
- Florence Margaret Durham
- Brigid Balfour
- Audrey Smith
- Mary Lobban
- Marjorie Musset
- Betty Press
Improved pages for NIMR women scientists
- Rosa Beddington
- Hilda Margaret Bruce
- Janet Niven
- Rosalind Pitt-Rivers
- Brigitte Askonas
- Bridget Ogilvie
Newly created page for other women scientist
Improved pages for other women scientists
- Anne McLaren
- Uta Frith
- Mary Lyon
- Eleanor Maguire
- Ruth Lyttle Satter
- Rita Levi-Montalcini
- Helen Neville
- NIMR page “More Wikipedia articles for MRC women scientists
- NIMR library
- Audio slideshow on MRC Insight blog
- Article in Times Higher
- Blogpost on Occam’s Corner
- Athene Donald blogpost on mentoring women scientists
- Prospect magazine blogpost
Royal Society Event Friday 11th October to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day
As part of the celebrations for Ada Lovelace Day, the MRC, on 11 October the Royal Society hosted the second in a series of MRC/Royal Society/Wikimedia UK edit-a-thons to focused on increase the profile of prominent female scientists whose work was funded by the MRC and across science more generally.
The Royal Society’s Director of Fellowship and Scientific Affairs Dr. Peter Cotgreave and the MRC’s Head of Equalities Mel Nunn welcomed attendees to the workshop where 20 editors were trained by representatives from Wikimedia UK.
‘Photographs by The Royal Society, distributed under a CC-BY-SA-2.0-de licence’
Pages created or expanded upon on the day include:
- Elizabeth Robertson, Cell biology
- Karen Steel, Biology
- Eleanor Campbell (scientist), Physical chemistry
- Nicola Clayton, Comparative cognition
- Elizabeth Simpson, Biology
- Doreen Cantrell, Immunology
- Clare Grey, Chemistry,
- Janet Hemingway, Tropical medicine
- Margaret Robinson, Molecular biology, cell biology
- Gillian Griffiths, Cell biology, immunology
- Edith Heard, Epigenetics
- Anne Mills, Health economics
- Maria Grazia Spillantini, Neurology
- Brigitta Stockinger, Immunology
- Julia Yeomans, Physics
- Barbara Hohn, Molecular biology (foreign member)
- Joanne Chory, Molecular biology, Cell biology (foreign member)
- Margaret Buckingham, Developmental biology (foreign member)
- Molly J. Crockett, American neuroscientist
- Wendy Ewart, Deputy CEO, MRC
- Beate Hermelin, Experimental Psychologist, MRC
- Neil O’Connor, Director MRC Developmental Psychology Unit
- Francesca Happé, Neuroscientist, MRC
- Janet Treasure, Psychiatrist
- Sheila Bird, Statistician
- Hilda Mary Woods, Statistician
After the edit a thon, more that 50 people attended an evening screening of Professor Polly Arnold’s Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award-funded short film “A Chemical Imbalance”. This was followed by talks by Professor Uta Frith and Professor Tom Welton, and a lively panel discussion.
Further information can be found on the Wikipedia page for the event.
LMB Event Monday 25th November – Cambridge
As part of the Centenary celebrations, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) will be hosting the latest Women in Science Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Monday 25th November 2013
There are 20 places available at the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon workshop (10.30 am – 6.00 pm) where participants will be taught how to edit Wikipedia and will have access to resources from the MRC, the Royal Society, the Wellcome Collection and the LMB in order to create and improve articles about MRC-funded and other female scientists. The workshop is open to people who are new to Wikipedia as well as experienced Wikipedia editors.
There are 200 places available for the Women in Science panel discussion (1.00 – 2.30 pm), led by Mariann Bienz FRS from the LMB and Nicola Hannam from the Science Council. Come along to discuss how women can be better represented in science and hear how eminent female scientists’ careers have flourished.
Tea and cake will be served after the discussion.
Attendance is free, but booking through EventBrite is essential: http://lmb-women-in-science.eventbrite.co.uk/
Any editors who would like to join in remotely should register online at the Wikipedia event page below and can communicate with the LMB editors via twitter: @wikimediauk, #WISWIKI
For more information:
LMB News story: http://mrc.io/1h8aJ3W
For further information about the edit a thon programme, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Society of Edinburgh Event – Tuesday 3 December; Women in Science Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
Wikimedia UK and the Medical Research Council, supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, are organising a Women in Science themed editing event on Tuesday 3 December 2013 in Edinburgh to celebrate Women in Science.
We would like to create or add to the Wikipedia pages of female scientists (who tend to be under-represented on Wikipedia), and attract more female editors to the project. The panel discussion will also serve as a forum on women’s experiences in science and diversity in the workforce more generally.
There are 20 places available at the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon workshop (1.15 – 6.00 pm) where participants will be taught how to edit Wikipedia and will have access to resources from the MRC, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Wellcome Collection in order to create and improve articles about female scientists. The workshop is open to people who are new to Wikipedia as well as experienced Wikipedia editors.
There are 80 places available for the Women in Science reception and panel discussion (6.30 – 9.00 pm), including talks by Professor Polly Arnold, Professor Sally Macintyre and Professor Lesley Yellowlees.
Come along to discuss how women can be better represented in science and hear how eminent female scientists’ careers have flourished.
Attendance is free, but booking through EventBrite is essential:
Any editors who would like to join in remotely should register online at the Wikipedia event page below and can communicate with the RSE editors via twitter: @wikimediauk, #WISWIKI.
Please forward this email on to others who may be interested in attending.
For more information:
For further information about the programme, please contact: