We haven’t posted for a while, so why not start with good news? And dare I add, news that reminds us that writing matters?
Take a look at this Guardian article: “Academic writes 270 Wikipedia pages in a year to get female scientists noticed.” Jess Wade, a postdoc in plastic electronics at Imperial College London’s Blackett Laboratory, took on the project when she realized that not only are minority researchers extremely isolated but also that many attempts to encourage girls and women range from being negative and ineffectual to shockingly misogynist and insulting.
Case in point: Check out the “Science: It’s a Girl Thing” video from the European Commission, in which three women, seen first in silhouette lest we forget to think about their bodies, perform for a guy in a lab coat next to a microscope and, along the way, learn something about the chemistry of lipstick. I think. (That really is a screenshot from the video. For real.)
But back to the good news. Wade is inspired by a book you may know by Angela Saini called Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong — and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story (2017). You can read a New York Magazine interview with Saini here.
The Guardian closes its article on Jess Wade this way:
What does she ultimately hope to achieve? “I guess it’s to make science a better place for everyone working in it, which happens when we recognise the contributions of these awesome women,” she says. “Then the girls who do come – because they will! – will come to a much more empowering environment.”