It’s Ada Lovelace Day! A day where we celebrate and promote women in science who are inspirational and fantastic role models. I was invited to attend an event on Friday 8th October sponsored jointly by the Royal Society, Medical Research Council and Wikipedia, where 15 women I’m scientific careers came together and added or edited Wikipedia entries about inspirational women in STEM careers. There was even a Wikipedia cake
I decided to go to the Edit-athon for a number of reasons. The first was intrigue; I have heard about Ada Lovelace events but never had the opportunity to take part in one. The second was experience; I have always been interested in technology and rely on Wikipedia for brief overviews of many topics and people, so this seemed like a great opportunity to give something back and learn about creating pages and editing Wikipedia. The third reason was for women in STEM, and unfortunately there is still a gender bias in the sciences, especially at more senior levels. Over the last few years I have become more active in this area to try and promote the idea of girls and young women taking STEM subjects where I can. The Wikipedia edit-athon was the perfect opportunity to acknowledge women who have already been very successful in their STEM career and promote them as current role models, something that is currently very rare in the STEM community. The event also allowed information about these inspirational and hugely successful women to be more widely accessed.
I had a fantastic time, learning to edit was a really great experience and I felt I had done something good and useful with my time. The evening event was very inspirational, with a speech from Uta Frith being the highlight. It was great to see so many women, and men, brought together to work towards a better representation of women of STEM in the public eye.
Myself and the other PhD student who came with me have now decided to set up monthly Wikipedia events where we encourage women at our place of work to add more pages and bring more women in STEM into the forefront of science.
I’m now off to Radio 4 Woman’s hour to talk about my day! <Listen here!>
So, Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Have a great one.