Improving Wikipedia’s coverage of the climate crisis

As the COP26 summit comes to a close, many people are reflecting on what we can do to help solve the climate crisis. For some student editors in Wiki Education’s Wikipedia Student Program, they already have: they’ve helped shape the world’s understanding of climate change and its impacts by sharing scientific information on Wikipedia. While … Continued

Filling gaps in marine biodiversity

Reef-building corals rely on photosynthetic symbionts to be able to build reefs. Soft corals, which don’t rely on these symbiotic algae, are able to grow in much deeper water. In the case of Primnoa pacifica, this means that are are able to live in cold, dark waters as much as 6 km below the ocean surface. … Continued

Grappling with the history of contested monuments

In the aftermath of the 2020 George Floyd protests and the 2017 Unite the Right rally, the question of monuments and their meaning has come to the forefront. Students in Oliver Wunsch’s Contested Monuments class worked on improving a number of Wikipedia articles about monuments, ranging from the Statue of Jefferson Davis at the U.S. Capitol, to the Gay Liberation … Continued

Wikipedia and the Representation of Reality

Wikipedia and the Representation of Reality is a new book by Zachary J. McDowell and Matthew A. Vetter that was published by Routledge this summer. The entire book is available for download free from the publisher or as a free Kindle download from Amazon. Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Making a change to its content … Continued

Improving Wikipedia’s coverage of 9/11

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks — and as many people reflect on the milestone, some will turn to Wikipedia to read about this moment in history and the widespread impacts of it. The attacks occurred in Wikipedia’s first year of existence, and played an important role in shaping the culture … Continued

Improving Wikipedia’s Islamic art and architecture coverage

The Book of Curiosities is an 11th century book of maps, star charts, and historical information believed to have been created in Egypt during the Fatimid Caliphate. It includes a rectangular map of the world that represents the oldest surviving map to use a graphic scale. Scans from the copy of the book in the possession … Continued

Expanding coverage of African archaeology on Wikipedia

Tassili n’Ajjer is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Sahara Desert in southeastern Algeria known for its Neolithic rock art from a period when the site was still savanna. With over 15,000 documented pieces of art, the site is exceptional. Before students in Mary Pendergast’s The Archaeology of Africa class started working on it, Wikipedia’s article on … Continued

Sea slugs, jellyfish, and crabs

We rarely associate the process of photosynthesis with animals, but life regularly outpaces our ability to imagine it. For Costasiella ocellifera, a species of sea slug, photosynthesis is part of the way it makes a living. When these sea slugs eat algae, they absorb the undigested chloroplasts and incorporate them in their skin. This practice, called … Continued

Can “behavior” exist absent a brain or nervous system?

Spring in the northern Temperate zone brings an effusive burst of life. Flowers and leaves appear on trees and shrubs from seemingly dead branches, while non-woody perennials emerge from the ground as if from hiding. The burst of flowers and the flush of leaves seems almost miraculous — one day it’s all brown, the next … Continued