What do you do with a dead chemist?

Answer (1): Barium (boom-boom!)

Answer (2): Write their story on Wikipedia, especially if they were female.*

One of the best bits of my job is working with Ewan McAndrew, our excellent Wikimedian in Residence. Our Ada Lovelace Day and Innovative Learning Week editathons back in 2015 paved the way for a year long residency in 2016, and that was so successful that we extended the residency for another year. The focus of the second year of the residency is on using Wikimedia projects in the curriculum, building on excellent work in areas like Reproductive Biomedicine, Divinity, and Translation Studies.

Sometimes convincing our colleagues to engage can be hard. Stereotypes about the factual accuracy of Wikipedia, or concerns about the risks that come with working in the open can be difficult to counter. We spend a lot of time supporting our colleagues to engage in light-touch ways that help build confidence and interest.

Sometimes though we talk about Wikipedia with colleagues and they quickly get as passionate and engaged as we are. That happened again this week, when Ewan went to visit our colleague in Chemistry, Dr Michael Seery. A conversation about women in Chemistry, some ideas about Ada Lovelace Day 2017 and some attractive Histropedia timelines went down very well. Later that evening I spotted the Twitter thread below.

This is what can happen if you are exposed to a Wikimedian in Residence…


* Only around 16% of biographies on Wikipedia are of women. This is a form of systemic bias and you should read more about the Wiki Women in Red project who do excellent work in this space.



(By Spudgun67 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

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