Less than 17% of the biographical entries on Wikipedia are dedicated to women

This Berlin project is bringing female scientists to the forefront

This Berlin project is bringing female scientists to the forefront

The “Capital of Women Scientists” is an invitation for Berliners to take an active part in the city’s history

Berlin is calling for participation, as the “Capital of Women Scientists” (Hauptstadt der Wissenschaftlerinnen) initiative draws near. The project will use Wikipedia articles to increase the visibility of women scientists in the city via an edit-a-thon, set to start on 28 July. The event is organised by the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH).

Making women in science more visible

Less than 17% of the biographical entries in the world's largest encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, are dedicated to women, and articles about women scientists are even rarer. The Berlin project “Capital of Women Scientists” wants to change that and calls on interested hobby researchers to take part in the edit-a-thon.

The aim is to restore the life stories of women scientists that have been forgotten, carving out a permanent place for them in the city’s collective memory. Rectifying the proportional disparity between the sheer volume of articles in Wikipedia is a start and will make the achievements of today's women scientists more visible.

The project envisions three edit-a-thons with the first two taking place on 28 July and 11 August, aimed at the general public. The third event will have a narrower approach, as it will specifically target seniors and schoolchildren.

The edit-a-thons are free of charge and will require no prior knowledge as experienced Wikipedia writers will guide the process and provide training through editing and writing workshops. The volunteers will create the articles themselves, basing them on biographies of female scientists from all disciplines who have previously worked in Berlin or who do research and teach in the city.

The idea is to shed a light on researchers and university professors with a connection to Berlin who have shaped and are still shaping the city as a science hub. After that, the “Capital of Women Scientists” will design and hold an exhibition based on the newly created Wikipedia entries.  

The project is supported by the Berlin Institute of Health in the Charité (BIH) as part of the joint initiative “Knowledge City Berlin 2021” and by the Berlin Senate Chancellery.

The Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research, Michael Müller urged the public to participate, pointing out the vital contribution of women to Berlin’s status as one of the most exciting innovation metropolises in the world.  

He continued: “Nevertheless, women scientists are still less noticed in public, their achievements are still rarely given the recognition they deserve, there are still too many whose work has been forgotten because they simply lived in a time when women were invisible in science. The “Capital of Women Scientists” project is a contribution to change and an invitation for Berliners to take an active part in it”.

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