“Learning how to edit and create Wikipedia pages was such a joy because my efforts were put towards a cause I deeply care about.” *
In celebration of Black History Month, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is sponsoring members to participate in a Wiki Scholars course focused on expanding Wikipedia’s coverage of notable Black people. Through this collaboration, Wiki Education will train a diverse group of genetics faculty and students how to add biographies of Black geneticists to Wikipedia.
Wikipedia celebrated its 20th birthday on January 15, 2021, marking two decades of pursuing its vision of giving every single person on the planet free access to the sum of all human knowledge. In those 20 years, the volunteer community that ensures Wikipedia’s quality has made over 1 billion edits to more than 6 million topics. Despite these impressive accomplishments, Wikipedia still suffers from content gaps, especially regarding its collection of biographies.
Only 10% of Wikipedia’s biographies of Americans are of Black people. Wiki Education aims to bring more diverse voices and content to Wikipedia, helping the encyclopedia truly represent human history and knowledge. This generous sponsorship gives GSA members the opportunity to increase public awareness of Black geneticists’ contributions to science while they learn how to become new Wikipedia editors.
Course details: Apply by February 10, 2021
- Course dates: February 22 – March 30, 2021 (6 weeks)
- Time commitment per week: 1 hour weekly collaborative meeting, 2 hours independent work
- Meeting time: We will select the day and time of meetings according to applicants’ availability.
- Goal: Selected participants will develop at least one Wikipedia biography of a notable Black geneticist currently underrepresented on Wikipedia.
- Cost: Participation is free for accepted faculty and students who are affiliated with the Genetics Society of America.
Expectations of participants
- Qualifying applicants are members of the Genetics Society of America.
- No experience with Wikipedia is required or expected.
- Available for virtual meetings on Zoom, weekly for one hour.
- Participants commit a minimum of 3 hours/week, including a one-hour weekly class and independent work.
- Participants will make significant contributions to at least one Wikipedia page by the end of the course.
- Participants must have access to the internet and a computer.
- Participants will fill out a short survey at the end of the course.
- Select participants will get the opportunity to be featured on Wiki Education’s blog.
“It was incredibly satisfying to help create a page for someone I so respected.” *
Our course helps students develop crucial skills:
- Familiarity with open access tools
- Digital literacy
- Tech skills
- Critical media literacy
- Science communication
- Collaborative writing
- Consensus building
- And more!
“Women and people of color from underrepresented regions like Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia have also achieved great things, yet the current cyberspace has not fully been able to tell their stories. Most of the world’s population aren’t in North America or Europe, but a lot of the content that we see online are controlled and created in these continents.” Read more…
“I was excited to try my hand at editing articles that I felt could have an impact in the community by elevating voices of People of Color in science. I chose to edit articles on Shirley Malcom, Melina Abdullah and Lori White, which taught me a lot. It was a really powerful experience to participate in this collective day of action, and I was glad to utilize Wikipedia editing skills for this purpose. ” Read more…
“Another component that we truly valued were the discussions about structural inequities that lead to the underrepresentation of women and minority scientists among biographical articles on Wikipedia. We found that a particularly striking aspect is how social inequities due to gender, class, racial and ethnic marginalization are aggravated in the representation of minorities among Wikipedia editors, featured scientists in the media, as well as in perceptions prevalent in society of which accomplishments are worth revering.” Read more…
Interested in enrolling 10 or more participants from the same institution in an online course? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for course buy-out and other customized options.
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