Throughout history, women scientists, engineers and mathematicians have changed the world. But while his achievements have been massive, his name and his stories are rarely publicized. Physicist Jess Wade wanted to share the stories of great STEM pioneers that may have been overlooked—and she came up with a unique way to do so: writing a Wikipedia page.
Wade told CBS News that there are fewer women in STEM than men, but her mother, including a therapist, has always been a role model in the field.
“The number of female professors in the physics department is quite small, but you are really aware and you are really inspired by the people you interact with,” said Wade, a research fellow at Imperial College London. “So of course, being surrounded and inspired by women was really important to me about who I am as a scientist.”
When she was a graduate student, Wade met another inspiring woman in STEM, Kim Cobb.
“He’s one of those people you meet and you go, ‘How can one person be so terrible? Wade said of Cobb, a climate scientist at Brown University who has been studying the impact of humans on humans.,
“So when I met her I thought she was an amazing person and I needed to know more about her. When I did a little research, I couldn’t find any information about her that was one of a kind. I All that was wanted was to find a Wikipedia page and not a Wikipedia page.”
That’s how Wade got the idea to start writing Wikipedia pages for diverse people in STEM who don’t have one yet.
“I’m really interested in ways we can try and improve that diversity, but also in the way we celebrate and honor incredible scientists who come from historically marginalized backgrounds.” There are — so people who are women, or people of color, or people who are LGBTQ+ — who have historically been underrepresented in science,” she said.
In his spare time, Wade searches the Internet to gather information, then gets a job writing a Wikipedia page. She has written over 1,700 till date. She said it’s always shocking to her when a notable person doesn’t have a page — but a few stand out.
Like Kizmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist and assistant professor at Harvard who developed a way to artificially make the spike proteinin 2020.
Wade said, “If you think about the people who have probably had the most impact on our lives, in the last two years, Kizzie is up, right. He’s not facilitating some kind of return to normalcy,” Wade said. world leaders.” ,
Wade said, “Another absolutely amazing person who I thought had a super interesting story that wasn’t on Wikipedia was a linguist named Elizabeth Sudmeier, who was actually at the time of founding the Central Intelligence Group, the CIA became.” “She was there as a woman, as a pioneer who pioneered what America had begun to create and leverage the sophisticated technologies.”
He also noted the page he wrote for June Lindsay, who was instrumental in discovering the structure of DNA.
Wade is now making a name for herself in STEM, and she knows she wouldn’t be here without the people who came before her. “Wikipedia is a small part of it, but we all have a role to play in making science a more diverse and more fair and more equal place,” she said.
She said others can shed light on STEM pioneers as well. “Talk about scientists from historically marginalized groups in your lessons, talk about them with your kids. The sky’s the limit,” she said.