A Biology Student Is Fighting Online Hate By Writing Profiles of Female Scientists

Maria Goeppert-Mayer // Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Maria Goeppert-Mayer // Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain / Maria Goeppert-Mayer // Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

As Emily Temple-Wood can tell you, being a woman in the sciences can get discouraging. Now for every harassing email she receives, the biologist will create a new Wikipedia page for a different female scientist, Jezebel reports.

The Loyola University undergrad co-founded WikiProject Women Scientists four years ago after discovering that the female scientists of The Royal Society were underrepresented on Wikipedia. This isn't entirely surprising—women make up less than 15 percent of active Wikipedia contributors. Feeling frustrated, Temple-Wood took matters into her own hands that same night by writing her first Wikipedia entry on women in science. Since then, the initiative has gained 76 members and produced hundreds of articles. 

The project's success has attracted its share of negativity as well. Since launching the campaign, Temple-Wood has been the frequent target of aggressive, suggestive, and demeaning messages often sent from throwaway email addresses created by Internet trolls. Instead of feeling pressured to abandon her mission, the harassment has only driven Temple-Wood to work harder. She's made a vow to write one Wikipedia page about a woman in science for every inappropriate email she gets, which has inspired other Wikipedians to follow in her lead. Temple-Wood will be enrolling in medical school in the fall, but until then she has a backlog of Wikipedia articles waiting to be written.

You can explore all the WikiProject Women Scientists entries, which include biographies for Liliana Lubinska, Katharine Luomala, and Adelaida Lukanina, on Wikipedia.

[h/t Jezebel]