Tuesday, October 16, 2012

'Wikithon' Honors Ada Lovelace and Other Women in Science

Today, October 16, is Ada Lovelace Day, an annual observation designed to raise awareness of the contributions of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Groups in the U.S., U.K., Sweden and India are marking the occasion with a 'Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon', creating and improving upon the Wikipedia pages of prominent women in STEM fields. A Wikipedia edit-a-thon seems like a fitting tribute to the woman many consider to be the first computer programmer.

Science writer Maia Weinstock is the organizer of the U.S. Ada Lovelace Day edit-a-thon. She helped compile a list of scientists who should have Wikipedia pages or whose pages need cleaning up. A secondary goal of the project is to encourage more women to edit Wikipedia. Only about 10-15% of regular contributors to Wikipedia are women, which impacts the information provided and the lens through which it is written.

See Evelyn Lamb's post at the Scientific American Blogs for more details and resources.

Also, check out this sweet cartoon about Ada Lovelace from BrainPOP.