https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... ts-noticed
I so want to support the efforts of the gender gap closers, but this article is kind of ridiculous.
It's about this editor...
She starts out explaining her disquiet that none of the current very expensive efforts to get more women into science, aren't being tested for their effectiveness. Which is fine. But her only evidence that writing Wikipedia biographies for female scientists does it better, or at all, seems thin. She uses the mere fact that a scientific images uploaded to Commons got lots of views, as evidence people will read these biographies, and thus it goes, will be inspired to become one themselves. As a testable hypothesis, it needs work.
Secondly, there is what she is actually doing. Here is what the Guardian claims is her motivation......
.....and yet this is all the article contains in terms of specifics....She wants every woman who has achieved something impressive in science to get the prominence and recognition they deserve – starting with a Wikipedia entry.
So it appears on this small sampling, she is rather more focused on feminist ideas of what is important (first women to....), rather than scientific ideas. Cobb's Wikipedia article doesn't give the impression her work is "impressive" relative to others in the field, or in science in general. Dare I say it, to the layperson, or a child, her biography makes her career choice sound quite boring, save the diving.Professor Kim Cobb, a US climate scientist, was her first subject. “She’s super interesting, she does really cool research on corals and she goes diving to collect samples,” she says. Soon after, Wade went to a talk by Susan Goldberg, editor of National Geographic (the first woman to hold this post), who noticed she too lacked a Wikipedia entry. “I thought ‘That’s outrageous’, so I did her page,” she says. Since then she has done hundreds more.
As we weave our way through a labyrinthine intersection between Imperial’s physics and maths buildings, Wade greets a colleague before turning to me to say: “That’s Emma McCoy, the first woman to be a professor of maths here. I made her page.”
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/27/heal ... index.html
She was also written up by CNN, although it's no better at identifying her method of selecting who is and is not worthy. She seems obsessed with the sort of questionable value judgements criticised in other efforts, using "cool" etcetera. Rather worryingly, she lets it be known she takes suggestions.
Overall, it seems she is basically using Wikipedia to inspire herself, it is a hobby for her first, science second. Which, as we know, is a flaw of the model. There will be women out there who do amazing things in science, but who for whatever reason, escape her seemingly haphazard approach to selecting her subjects. Where is her own scientific method?
The CNN piece again illustrates a confused thinking over how this could possibly be an effective use of her time, when compared to say her other outreach activities.
One sentence doesn't relate to the other as far as proving it inspires. Much like image views don't relate to biography views."When you look up a scientist, the first thing that comes up is their Wikipedia page," Wade said. "But more often than not, women don't have them."
She chose Wikipedia because people these days research life's questions by Googling. Wikipedia articles, she said, are indexed quickly and appear near the top of most searches.
She readily admits to spending only an hour or so to write a biography, so it could well be the case she is harming women with better writeup, that would otherwise be top result if it weren't for the sort of short bland effort I read for Cobb. Is she really doing the level of research needed to summarise an entire life?
Anyway, I hope this view is all just the result of badly written news articles. But I am not confident.