One Wikipedia page at a time, Jess Wade, a postdoc at Imperial College London, hopes to raise the profiles of women in science, the Guardian reports.
Wade has written 270 Wikipedia profiles about female researchers, and tells the Guardian she has a goal of writing one page a day, but that sometimes she gets caught up in what she's doing and writes more. With these Wikipedia profiles, Wade says she wants to pique people's interest in the women and their work while also motivating others. She has profiled climate researcher Kim Cobb, National Geographic editor Susan Goldberg, and Imperial College London's Emma McCoy, among others.
Other approaches aimed at bolstering women in science are costly and their effects have been unclear, the Guardian says. Wade tells the paper that between £4 million and £5 million is spent each year on outreach for women in science. But, the paper says, the number of female students taking A-level physics in the UK has held steady at 21 percent for a decade and fewer than 9 percent of engineers in the country are women.
"There's so much energy, enthusiasm and money going into all these initiatives to get girls into science," Wade says. "Absolutely none of them is evidence-based and none of them work. It's so unscientific, that's what really surprises me."