Source:  Chemistry World |  | July 3, 2019

An image showing Clarice Phelps

Source: © ORNL

‘I’m being deleted from Wikipedia, which feels like I’m famous,’ Sarah Tuttle tweeted in early May. The astrophysicist’s Wikipedia page was flagged for deletion just weeks after a fierce – and prominent – battle over the page of superheavy element chemist Clarice Phelps.

Phelps, who works at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US, is quite possibly the first female African–American scientist to be part of team that discovered a superheavy elementtennessine – a feat, some might argue, that means she should be featured on the world’s largest encyclopaedia. But Wikipedia editors disagreed.

The Wikipedia profile of one of the discoverers of tennessine, Clarice Phelps, has been at the centre of a battle over who is notable enough to feature in the encyclopaedia

Arguing whether Phelps met Wikipedia’s notability standards – rules that govern whether a person should have a page or not – editors first deleted her page, then restored it, then deleted it again. Her page has been deleted a total of three times. With every deletion, the discussion became more heated.

The deletion battle received considerable media attention. Some outlets accused Wikipedia of discrimination and systemic bias against anyone who isn’t a straight white man.

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