Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day with Wikipedia

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, honoring women in STEM. Named after Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, who is widely considered to be one of the first computer programmers. Improving Wikipedia’s coverage of women in STEM has been an ongoing theme around Ada Lovelace Day.

In the 10 years we’ve been supporting student editors through our Wikipedia Student Program, many courses have focused on improving biographies of women in science. In particular, the University of Calgary’s Glenn Dolphin has taught four geology classes focused on improving biographies of women geologists, with a fifth course planned for next term. And Colorado College’s Rebecca Barnes has taught seven courses focused in improving underrepresented scientists, many of whom are women. Saint Mary’s College’s Kathryn Haas has taught three courses improving biographies of women in STEM. Many other faculty have encouraged students to help close this gender gap as part of Wiki Education’s Communicating Science initiative.

Many of our Scholars & Scientists courses also focus on improving biographies of women in STEM. In the last year, we have collaborated with the organization 500 Women Scientists to run two courses on improving biographies of women in science. The course in spring 2020 resulted in 11 new biographies of women scientists, with dozens more expanded. We are in the middle of a second class which we expect will also add more quality biographies. A course sponsored by the American Physical Society that we also ran this spring added biographies of underrepresented physicists, many of whom were women. We’re also in the middle of a second course with APS.

If you’re inspired by Ada Lovelace Day and are interested in hosting a similar course for your organization, visit wikiedu.org/partnerships for more information.

ImageFile:Ada Lovelace portrait.jpgScience Museum Group, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


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