Source: The TelegraphDecember 7, 2019A

Dr Jess Wade, a research associate at Imperial College London, spent two years writing around 820 biographies for the online encyclopaedia CREDIT: BORIS ROESSLER/EPA

A physicist has accused Wikipedia editors of sexism after profiles she created for female scientists were tagged as “not notable enough”.

Dr. Jess Wade, a research associate at Imperial College London, spent two years writing around 820 biographies for the online encyclopaedia, which attracts millions of users every day.

The 31-year-old’s mission was to raise awareness of women who have made a significant contribution to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while addressing the fact that less than 20 percent of the profiles are for influential females.

But last week an editor of the website flagged 50 as not being prominent enough to justify them remaining online.

Dr. Wade has accused Wikipedia of being “biased” against women because the majority of its content editors are “white men in North America”.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour this week: “It was incredibly systematic. They went through all the profiles that I’d written and decided a few who were completely notable and justifiable for the site should have a horrible tag saying they weren’t notable.

“I’ve been told that I’m diluting the site by putting these profiles up.”

All Wikipedia’s content is written by volunteers and a handful of administrators make decisions about which biographies are worthy of appearing on the website. One of the criteria they consider is how well known the person is.

“They do the most incredible research in difficult circumstances. One of the most memorable was a phenomenal woman chemist called Clarice Phelps.

“She works at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US and was probably the only African American woman ever to contribute to the discovery of an element – element 117, which is Tennessine.

“She went through the Navy’s Nuclear Field program which is incredibly competitive – it probably has a fail rate of 90 percent. She’s at the top of her game.

“I wrote her biography, put it up and it instantly got tagged for deletion with this person not being notable enough.

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