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Academic works hard to get female scientists the recognition they deserve

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A post-doctoral researcher has made it her mission to get the names of female scientists on the agenda.

Jess Wade, who is based at Imperial College London’s Blackett Laboratory, has written 270 Wikipedia pages for female scientists in the last year alone. 

With women underrepresented in scientific professions, Wade began to create Wikipedia pages for women who have made their mark in the science world. 

Speaking to the Guardian Wade said: “I kind of realised we can only really change things from the inside. […] 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.” 

“I’ve done about 270 [entries] in the past year. […] I had a target for doing one a day, but sometimes I get too excited and do three.” 

The number of female students in A-Level physics classes rests at 21%, with the number of girls taking computing lying much lower at 10%. The UK has one of the worst ratios of female workers in the engineering sector, with only 9% of professional engineers being women. 

Alongside her work online, Wade has also given talks at schools encouraging more girls into science. However, she was struck by the lack of progress made by initiatives such as the ‘9% is not enough campaign” put forward by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. 

Wade stated, “It infuriates me that even for a blink of an eyelid, they think that kind of thing will change anything”. 

Eventually she hopes to “make science a better place for everyone working in it, which happens when we recognise the contributions of these awesome women […] the girls who do come - because they will! – will come to a much more empowering environment.

 

 

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