Living knowledge: Biologists grow public access to science via Wikipedia

Living knowledge: Biologists grow public access to science via Wikipedia

“As an academic, one of my goals is to ensure that the information I generate finds its way into the hands of other people who need to use it. Being a Wiki Scientist provided me a tremendous opportunity to fulfill this goal.” — Doctoral student / past participant


In Wiki Education’s synchronous course, you’ll meet online once a week with a Wikipedia writing group to amplify your impact as biologists by adding peer-reviewed research to highly-consulted biology articles on Wikipedia.



500 million readers come to Wikipedia each month to grow their understanding of a topic; their behavior; and ultimately the world. When scientists like you add neutral, fact-based information to the site, you’re helping inform policy makers and the public on the critical role science and technology have in our world.

But there’s a problem. When it comes to the representation of biology topics on Wikipedia – there’s a gap. The most widely-read Wikipedia articles related to biology aren’t the highest quality ones. You can help make sure those pages (which receive thousands of views every day) represent the latest research and link to the most accurate science.

In this course, we’ll guide you through the improvement of a biology-related article of your choice – from expanding the list of biological processes, to growing the list of branches of microbiology – we’ll help you identify the most high-impact articles to improve.


What you’ll gain

Over our 8 week course, you’ll learn the ins and outs of Wikipedia by improving or creating one article in an area of study important to you. Pulling together Wikipedia experts, detailed training, and hands-on guidance, this is the only skills-development course of its kind worldwide. Participants join the online community of Wikipedians and engage in science communication on a grand scale. Read more…


Course details

We have two available courses, one beginning in November and one beginning in January. Each course is 8 weeks long and meets once per week for a 1 hour collaborative meeting. Meeting time is determined by the most available registrants. Participants also have an additional 2 hours of independent work per week.

  • November course: Mondays 10 – 11am PST, 1-2pm EST from 11/18/2019 to 1/13/2020 (no meeting week of 12/23)
  • January course: Tuesdays 1-2pm PST, 4-5pm ET from 1/7/2020 – 2/25/2020



We encourage you to seek professional development funds to cover the cost of tuition. We’re happy to work with you to provide your department or organization more information about the course. For more information, contact

  • Individual rate: $1,000
  • Group discounted rate: Enroll with a group of two or more for $750 each.
  • Financial aid is available for those without access to professional development funds.


Register now!

No matter your industry, if you work in or have expertise in biology, bioengineering, bioinformatics, species, nanobiology, zoology, anatomy, physiology, genetics, or ecology, join our course!



Registration deadline: 11/15/19                  Registration deadline: 12/20/19

Payment deadline: 11/22/19                  Payment deadline: 1/3/2020


“Wikipedia is a big resource for science. There’s value in making sure the science on Wikipedia is as good and complete as possible.” — Researcher *


Read more…

  • In a 2018 MIT publication, researchers found correlational and causal evidence that Wikipedia shapes scientific literature and knowledge. Scientists who get involved in Wikipedia editing become actors of change and progress, not only for public education but for future scholarship in their field. Read more…
  • When this doctoral student joined one of our courses, she discovered that Wikipedia articles related to science policy issues she cared about could use a lot of work. With editing guidance from our Wikipedia experts, she made the necessary changes. Read more…
  • Wikipedia offers a huge educational platform. We’ll help you identify where you can make the biggest impact with your science communication efforts. Read more…
  • Dr. Jennifer Doudna helped make one of the most remarkable breakthroughs in biology — the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system. But her Wikipedia biography told the story of her career in relation to the men in her life. Here’s how a past Wiki Scientist fixed that. Read more…
  • This OB/GYN fixed a Wikipedia article about a medical procedure she performs on a weekly basis, providing more accurate information to the 500 readers that visit the page every single day. Read more…


I wanted to improve public access to scientific information. Reflecting on my time in the course, I am surprised by how much I actually got to do that.”


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