Scientists to write Wikipedia biographies of women in STEM

Only about 17% of biographies on Wikipedia are about women. That number is slowly changing thanks to WikiProject groups like Women in Red and Women scientists. Now, scholars who take our professional development courses are also helping close that gap.

New courses that train scholars with the skills to make a difference on Wikipedia begin this month. One such course focuses on better representing women in STEM on the world’s most referenced online encyclopedia. The acknowledgement of the lives and accomplishments of women (in science and beyond) is not only deserved, but inspires future generations of women to pursue careers they’re passionate about.

In this course, scholars collaborate with each other across disciplines to enter the world of Wikipedia, while taking trainings and receiving support from our dedicated Wikipedia experts. Over the course of two months, these scientists will gain the skills and confidence to improve at least two articles on the world’s most-accessed reference source.

Meet the new Wikipedia Fellows!

American Chemical Society

  • Nasim Pica is studying at Colorado State University.
  • Mike Tarselli is the Scientific Director at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening. He hopes to “uncover more ‘hidden figures’ from the physical sciences and reveal their amazing contributions to the unsuspecting public” during this course.
  • Cheryl Trusty is an ACS member who is eager to make Wikipedia articles more accessible to the public.

Association for Women in Mathematics

  • JoAnne Growney is a Professor Emerita at Bloomsburg University. She is excited to learn how to edit Wikipedia to edit articles about women in mathematics.
  • Magdalena Luca is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science. She is looking forward to becoming skilled at editing Wikipedia.
  • Sean Sather-Wagstaff is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Clemson University. He is passionate about the equitable representation of women and sees Wikipedia as an effective way to achieve this.

Deep Carbon Observatory

  • Katrina Chu is at the University of Toronto and wants to engage the systemic underrepresentation of women by raising awareness of the amazing work of female scientists.
  • Lotta Purkamo is a research scientist at the University of St. Andrews whose research focuses on microbiology, biospheres, and climate change. She views Wikipedia as the go-to source for reference information and wants to be an active contributor to this movement.
  • Chelsea Sutcliffe is a post-doctoral research fellow in earth sciences at the University of Toronto. She wants to minimize gender bias on Wikipedia and make sure women are represented.
  • Laura Zinke is working on a post doc at the University of California-Davis in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography. She is eager to join the Wikipedia community to make an impact on underrepresented topics and individuals.

National Women’s Studies Association

  • Konul Karimova is a student at the University of Northern Iowa who has been a long time Wikipedia reader and wants to contribute to it to ensure that the information in articles is the best it can be.

To read reflections about this course from past participants, see Samantha Kao and Dr. Laura Hoopes’ blog posts. To see how you can get involved, reach out to or visit


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