Jess Wade spent the last year writing 270 Wikipedia entries for women who have made significant achievements in science.
Wade, a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College in London, recognizes that women often do not get the coverage they deserve in science fields. To help solve this problem, she took matters into her own (probably very tired) hands.
“I kind of realized we can only really change things from the inside,” said Wade. “Wikipedia is a really great way to engage people in this mission because the more you read about these sensational women, the more you get so motivated and inspired by their personal stories.”
Wade believes that the existing campaigns to get more women involved in scientific fields are not effective. She explains, “There’s so much energy, enthusiasm and money going into all these initiatives to get girls into science. Absolutely none of them is evidence-based and none of them work. It’s so unscientific, that’s what really surprises me.”
In addition to her Wikipedia initiative, Wade gives talks at schools to get girls interested in the field, focusing on speaking with parents and teachers and not just the students themselves.
Wade's goal is simple: to make science a better place for everyone working in it. "(That) happens when we recognize the contributions of these awesome women. Then the girls who do come – because they will! – will come to a much more empowering environment.”