Learning Wikipedia editing: how scientists can communicate with the public

“I am a firm believer that the role of academics is to make their knowledge accessible to the public. I cherish the opportunity to research, write, and share knowledge and information that would benefit as many people as possible.”

So wrote a participant in our Communicating Science course, where scientists, professionals, and other academics learn how to contribute their knowledge to Wikipedia. Now, a new round of Wikipedia Fellows are diving into Wikipedia policies, editing, and more.

Scientists recognize the importance of communicating about science to the general public. When scientific information reaches outside of the academy, more people are equipped to make better informed political and behavioral choices. And, as we’ve written about before, Wikipedia is an effective route for communicating with and educating the public. It turns out that not only does the public rely on Wikipedia for science information, but so do scientists! That’s why engaging scholars with scientific backgrounds in Wikipedia editing is so important.

Meet our latest Wikipedia Fellows who will be communicating science topics!

American Chemical Society

Margery Ashmun is a Science Reference Librarian at Drew University with a background in secondary science education and business experience in the chemical industry. She is interested in exploring how (1) to use Wikipedia and its concepts to build information literacy skills, (2) to encourage faculty to explore incorporating wiki-thons to support their curriculum (in some fashion), and (3) to explore how her campus’ digital humanities group could benefit from interacting with Wikipedia. She is interested in contributing to articles related to education, particularly STEM, secondary education, and higher education — and to articles related to aspects of modern business practices.

Muhammad Faheem is Assistant Professor and Director of Postgraduate Studies at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. He wants to contribute to articles in the domains of chemistry and chemical engineering to make them more understandable to a novice reader.

Joan Muellerleile is Senior Consultant with Proximate Technologies, LLC, and a Polymer Scientist with over 25 years of industry experience in polymer and materials science. She is a successful lead investigator and program manager in a variety of governmental contractor, industrial, and consultant settings for projects ranging from fundamental research and development to business-oriented applications development. Joan’s experience includes the design, performance, characterization, selection, and synthesis of polymers, composites, coatings, and adhesives.

Association for Psychological Science

Raeya Maswood is a graduate student studying memory and cognitive science at Stony Brook University. She will be contributing to articles related to memory, with the aim to make scientific research on the topic more accessible and available to the public.

Theresa Trieu is a research assistant at Uniformed Services University who is interested in improving articles related to psychotherapy and suicide prevention.

Deep Carbon Observatory

Tobias Fischer is Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He is interested in deep earth processes, the exchange of material between the earth’s interior and surface, active volcanism, and geothermal energy. He will contribute to articles about volcanoes and their role in earth processes.

Megan Newcombe, a Postdoctoral Scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, studies volcanic processes on the Earth and across the solar system. She is excited to contribute to Wikipedia’s geology articles and looks forward to using Wikipedia as a teaching tool.

Kristen Rahilly is a graduate student studying volcanic gases at the University of New Mexico. She is interested in expanding the articles related to volcanoes, volcanic hazards, and biographies on women geoscientists. She hopes to help make findings from the current scientific literature more accessible through inclusion in Wikipedia articles.

Jonathan Tucker is a postdoctoral associate at the Carnegie Institution for Science. He is interested in the composition, evolution, and formation of the Earth. He is passionate about science outreach, education, and literacy.


Stefany Coxe is an associate professor of Quantitative Psychology at Florida International University. She is interested in improving articles related to applied statistical methods, with the aim of making them more accessible to non-statisticians, including researchers in the behavioral sciences and the broader public.

Questions about how you can get involved? Reach out to scholars@wikiedu.org.


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