Jess Wade’s Quest Can Be Anyone’s Quest

Academic writes 270 Wikipedia pages in a year to get female scientists noticed

Jess Wade is a scientist on a mission. She wants every woman who has achieved something impressive in science to get the prominence and recognition they deserve – starting with a Wikipedia entry. “I’ve done about 270 in the past year,” says Wade, a postdoctoral researcher in the field of plastic electronics at Imperial College London’s Blackett Laboratory.


Yowsah. 270. I have tried four separate times to submit a new article in Wikipedia and have failed. What’s her secret?

– choose topics from your own personal experience
– let your passions be your guide
– find analogous spaces someone else is doing and model that.
– Champion a book.
– Get local then go global.

Here are some additional suggestions I found in other articles:

-Run a wikithon.
-Scroll through Twitter.

Here is a quote of interest where she models part of her process:

The Twitter account @blackphysicists has helped me find heaps of African-American scientists who are wiki-worthy. Then I spend a couple of hours searching for impartial sources—citations written when they’ve won an award, news reports about their research, announcements when they receive promotion. There are heaps of newspapers archived online for free, which helps, especially when trying to work out women’s maiden names. I love when I can find where they went to school, what their parents did and who inspires them—that sounds weird I know—I think it helps readers understand that scientists are just normal people who found something they love.

Lastly, here is a gathering of links that I filched from the net using Zotero and Dropbox.  If you don’t like all the text just follow the hyperlinks out and about.


What’s Going Down Here?

One of the best ways to share with and honor the work of your friends is to take time, slow down, and make the effort to read one of their posts or videos or poems or images or songs.  I use the word “read’ very broadly.  I view all of these media as text.  They are all machines in their own way, but without cogs or visible energy sources.  In fact they are the only perpetual motion machines ever invented.  Text engines.  All of them.

But you have to prime their pumps sometimes when they have wound down a bit and are going very slowly.  That is what I am trying to do with Simon Ensor’s recent post.  His poemposts haven’t run down by any means. If anything they are too tightly wound and move too quickly. What I think they need is a slow release of the clockwork inside to let the energy into the world in a different way.

That is what I have done here.  I have attempted a close reading through a kind of Babel Fish–Lumen 5.  Because you have to ‘translate’ the words from one medium into another, you get a feel for the tension of the springs in the post.  At least I do.  Close reading by translating.  Any deep understanding of any text has to involve this idea of translating, an apt metaphor considering Simon makes his living by teaching English to French students.

Here is the original post.   By all means read it.  Get your own initial feel for it, a sense of touch for its heft and texture and tone.

Now take a look at my translation into Lumen 5.  See if it doesn’t expand the world of his post through the intertwingling of music, image, video, text and typography.


Webarchiving: Try It

I was pawing through my morning news feeds and came across this post about Rhizome, the creator of Webrecorder. They were blogging the announcement of a national forum on ethics and webarchiving.

I took it as an ideal time to revisit Webrecorder.

Webrecorder is a way to archive any digital object on the net.

Here is a use case–archiving tweets from the CIA:


Here is the archive from the Rhizome post announcing the webarchiving ethics forum:


My thought here for my students is that we begin to extend what it means to have a bibliography.  Webrecorder allows students to share more completely what research resources they have collected online.  We could re-imagine what a review of the literature might mean.  We could begin to take back the net by gathering and archiving.

Somehow the Internet Archive will have to be involved in this nascent project.  Just thinking out loud here. A bit inchoate, but it’s my kind of inchoate.