“The public looks to Wikipedia to make informed political decisions. If I can make that information more accurate and complete, that’s a good use of my time.”
In Wiki Education’s synchronous course, you’ll meet online once a week with your peers and amplify your impact as a professional by adding critical science policy information to Wikipedia.
500 million readers come to Wikipedia each month to shape their understanding of topics; their behavior; and ultimately the world. When scientists add neutral, fact-based information to the site, they inform policy makers and voters on the critical role science and technology has in our community.
The National Science Policy Network (NSPN) believes the scientific community has an obligation to participate in the Wikipedia community to ensure the public has access to high-quality scientific information, especially as it relates to real-world policy decisions. But the barriers for entry into the “Wikipedia ecosystem” can deter scientists, especially early career scientists, from taking the time to learn Wikipedia’s technical, procedural, and cultural practices.
NSPN is sponsoring seats in a Wiki Scientists course to bolster the availability and accuracy of science policy information on Wikipedia. Selected members will participate in an in-depth, structured training about how to contribute science policy content to Wikipedia, giving early career scientists and engineers the dedicated time and support they need to join the Wikipedia community. NSPN Wiki Scientists will collaborate weekly over 6 weeks to edit at least one Wikipedia article related to science policy.
Previous NSPN Wiki Scientists have already done excellent work on Wikipedia. See the impact they’ve had:
Course details: Apply by Sunday, August 29th
- Course dates: Participants meet virtually via Zoom weekly from September 15 – October 20, 2021 (6 weeks).
- Class meeting time: Wednesdays from 11:00am–12:00pm Pacific (2:00–3:00pm Eastern)
- Time commitment per week: 1 hour virtual, collaborative meeting; ~3 additional hours of independent work
- Cost: The full cost of enrollment in this course has been covered by the National Science Policy Network.
National Science Policy Network’s goals
- Improve the content of existing Wikipedia articles related to Science & Technology topics (e.g., Water resource policy, Endangered species, Funding of science, Genetic privacy, Artificial intelligence arms race);
- Generate new policy-focused articles on Science & Technology topics (e.g., Facial recognition systems in the United States);
- Give NSPN members the skills to amplify their impact by adding critical science policy information to Wikipedia.
- Expand NSPN’s cohort of members who collaborate to improve science policy articles on Wikipedia, as a recent study found targeted work like this significantly increases those pages’ visibility and readership. This group is systematically communicating crucial science to the public, and NSPN wants you to be a part of this initiative.
Expectations of participants
- No experience with Wikipedia is required or expected.
- Available for virtual meetings on Zoom, weekly for one hour.
- Participants commit 3 hours/week, including a one-hour weekly class and independent work.
- Participants will make significant contributions to at least one Wikipedia article about science policy by the end of the course.
- Participants must have access to the internet and a computer.
- Participants will fill out short surveys at the end of the course, and select participants will get the opportunity to be featured on Wiki Education’s blog.
- The NSPN Initiative team requires brief written updates to the NSPN Initiative Committee.
- Participants should be “Full Members” of NSPN, which costs $20 annually (with other tiers for undergraduate students). If applying for this course, please register for membership here.
“There is nothing more satisfying than providing content for the world’s most accessible platform for anyone to see, respect, and admire. And in the end, I gained far more than I donated.” *
Dilara Kiran valued the NSPN Wiki Scientist course as an experience that connected her with peers and gave her tools for sharing her passion and expertise with a global audience. Read more…
Nuclear policy expert Daniel Puentes explains why engagement with Wikipedia is a great avenue for educating the public on hot-button issues. Read more…
Katherine Lopez is a PhD candidate in neuroscience and she’s ready to take her new science communication tools into her career. Read more…
NSPN members can make a difference on Wikipedia. Just look at the progress they’ve made in 2019! Read more…
Who’s interested in taking a public policy Wiki Scientist course like this? Check out some of our past participants. 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…
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…
Practicing your writing through Wikipedia helps cure academic writer’s block. Read more…
What does creative thinking education mean for scientists? And what does it have to do with Wikipedia? Read more…