Listen to our latest R.Science podcast to find out what Professor Uta Frith FRS thought of the recent group edit-a-thon, in partnership with Wikimedia UK, to improve Wikipedia articles about women in science. Professor Frith, one of the organisers of the event held at the Society and speaker at a panel event on women in science afterwards, name checked Elsie Widdowson FRS as someone she wanted to work to improve the Wikipedia entry on:
“I’m very keen to promote women in science and I know of course the Royal Society has a diversity programme and is very keen to do whatever is possible to make women scientists more visible… In the late 40s and 50s one of the scientists was Elsie Widdowson and she has a very thin Wikipedia entry, you really can’t find out very much about her if you look at Wikipedia and you might say, ‘oh perhaps she wasn’t very famous’ because there isn’t much about her. But in fact she did remarkable work that impinged on people’s lives. She was a nutritionist and she made sure that during wartime the population of the UK was really quite well fed and I would really like to learn more about her.”
At the event those new to Wikipedia and experienced Wikipedia editors had the opportunity to raise the profile of female scientists who have been largely overlooked. Representatives from Wikimedia UK were on hand to explain how Wikipedia works and answered questions about editing and improving Wikipedia articles. Attendees worked together to edit articles, using the library’s resources and they created or expanded around 40 entries. The Society’s library holds a rich collection that contains many works by and about women in science, including biographies and works authored by scientists.