Science Gallery Dublin to host Women in STEM Wiki edit-a-thon

28 May 2015

The Science Gallery Dublin and Women In Technology and Science (WITS) will fight the good fight for women in STEM on Wikipedia on 4 June with an edit-a-thon for Ireland’s female STEM pioneers.

The effort is part of WITS’ campaign to ‘stem the tide’ in articles that appear about women in science on the giant web encyclopaedia, which they say shows a gender bias against them compared with the treatment of men in identical fields.

Research earlier this year as part of a paper entitled It’s a Man’s Wikipedia? Assessing Gender Inequality in an Online Encyclopaedia showed that, in many cases, the female scientists had their gender specifically referenced, such as ‘lady’ or ‘woman’, while in many cases the males’ gender was not mentioned.

Now, according to WITS’ post about the upcoming edit-a-thon, the group are calling on any STEM-conscious editors to take part in the event on 4 June between 4pm and 8pm to not only fix existing Wikipedia pages of Irish women in STEM, but also to add pages about women who haven’t been represented yet.

The edit-a-thon will be open to not only those attending the event in the Science Gallery Dublin, but anyone online who can take a quick tutorial on Wikipedia editing if they haven’t done it before.

For those who attend on the day, however, Rebecca O’Neill will be there as lead trainer under the Wikipedia editor name Smirkybec.

WITS has also posted a suggested to-do list of leading Irish women in STEM, including: Sugru inventor Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh; UCD’s first female professor of zoology, Carmel Humphries, chemist and pharmacist Lucy Everest Boole, and astronomer and mathematician Annie Scott Dill Maunder.

Inspirefest 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-20 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Women Invent is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Wikimedia edit-a-thon image via Maia Weinstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic