For Every Sexist Email She Gets, This College Student Will Pen A Wikipedia Entry About A Woman Scientist

Emily Temple-Wood is an accomplished college student and aspiring biologist, an EMS volunteer, a research assistant and a Wikipedia contributor.

She’s also a woman.

Because of her gender, Temple-Wood said she’s been subject to a constant bombardment of harassment. Online trolls frequently contact her soliciting dates and “sexual favors.” They condescendingly discuss her body, and insult her with profanities and sexist comments.

Instead of ignoring the misogyny or engaging the trolls, the 21-year-old molecular biology student at Loyola University decided to turn the negativity into an opportunity for empowerment.

For every harassing email she receives, Temple-Wood has vowed to write a Wikipedia article about a woman scientist.

Back in 2012, Temple-Wood co-founded WikiProject Women Scientists, an initiative dedicated to ensuring that women in science were adequately represented on Wikipedia. A 2013 profile of Temple-Wood described the beginnings of that project:

Despite her academic commitments, Temple-Wood has made it her mission to ensure that female scientists get their due recognition on Wikipedia. She co-founded the WikiProject Women Scientists last November after coming across WikiProject Women’s History-Ada Lovelace Day 2012, which exposed a significant gender bias across Wikipedia’s science domain.

A substantial number of female fellows belonging to the prestigious Royal Society, a sort of who’s who in the world of science, had no Wikipedia articles written about them. “I got pissed and wrote an article that night,” Temple-Wood said. “I literally sat in the hallway in the dorm until 2am writing the first women in science (Wikipedia) article.”

Temple-Wood’s WikiProject was a huge success. According to a Wikimedia blog post this week, the initiative helped more than 370 women scientists appear on Wikipedia’s front page “Did you know?” section.

Siko Bouterse, a former Wikimedia Foundation staff member, said Temple-Wood’s impact on the online encyclopedia’s —> Read More