Researchers at the Royal Society are celebrating women’s contributions to science and technology by creating a list of stubs with information on female scientists. The creation of the list also marks Ada Lovelace day – the day of celebration of the life of the 19th-century mathematician who worked on computing theory.
One fellow of the Royal Society, Professor Uta Frith chose to write about Mary Buckland, a 19th century scientist and natural history illustrator. Until now, Buckland has most often been hidden by the shadow of her husband who was a librarian and fellow of the Royal Society. Frith said that she had always been disappointed by the way great female minds had been pushed aside in the history of science. “It is shameful that when you ask people, including scientists, to name well-known female scientists and engineers, they can barely get past Marie Curie,” she said. “I think this is very much because they are not in our consciousness, or they have not been given high enough profile for their work. Wikipedia is one of the first places that many people go for information, but if it’s not there how will we ever learn about our scientific heroines. This event is a very small but important step towards putting these very special women in the spotlight they deserve.”
Expanded entries were written for Mary Elizabeth Barber, a UK-born, South African-reared scientist who identified many new plant species. and Dame Louise Napier-Johnson, a biochemist and protein crystallographer and professor of molecular biophysics. Up until now her Wikipedia page had consisted of just 8 lines. Entries added for living scientists included Eleanor Maguire, professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London.
Sources include: The Guardian
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