Forty million Americans rely on the internet as their primary source for science information. Half of all Americans have used the internet to fact check the science in a news report, and more than half say they’d turn to the internet first to learn about a scientific controversy. And 70% have gone online to learn about a new scientific concept (source).
That search typically includes Wikipedia. As the top online educational resource on the planet, with more links from search engines than any other site, Wikipedia is one of the most powerful platforms for the dissemination of science information in the world.
That’s why we made the Wikipedia Year of Science a centerpiece in our annual plan. It’s an initiative to improve science articles on Wikipedia, close gaps in scientific content, and help more people find free, high-quality information about science. In the meantime, we’ll offer real practice in science communication to students across the USA and Canada.
We’ll be recruiting in science fields to help expand the number of instructors teaching with Wikipedia through our Classroom Program. We’re especially looking for courses that can expand Wikipedia’s representation of women scientists. We’re already reaching out to form partnerships with academic associations. Of course, we’ll continue to support instructors outside of the sciences interested in teaching with Wikipedia as well.
It’s not just classrooms. We’re also in the process of connecting Wikipedia Visiting Scholars to science-based resources at institutions of higher learning.
If you’re an instructor, a representative of an institution of higher learning, or academic association, and interested in collaborating on this exciting, large-scale science communication project, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.