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Emily Temple-Wood

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Emily Temple-Wood
Keilana portrait cropped.png
Temple-Wood in 2015
Born (1994-05-24) May 24, 1994 (age 25)[1]
Other namesKeilana
EducationLoyola University Chicago (B.S.)
OccupationWikipedian in residence
Known forCreating Wikipedia articles about women scientists
AwardsWikipedian of the Year (2016)

Emily Temple-Wood (born May 24, 1994)[1] is an American Wikipedia editor who goes by the name of Keilana on the site. She is known for her efforts to counter the effects and causes of gender bias on Wikipedia, particularly through the creation of articles about women in science. She was declared a joint recipient of the 2016 Wikipedian of the Year award, by Jimmy Wales, at Wikimania on June 24, 2016.

Early life

Temple-Wood attended Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove, Illinois.[2] A 2017 Wired article described her as "the type of middle schooler who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, because she thought the idea of making children swear a loyalty oath was bizarre."[3] She won the 2008 DuPage County Spelling Bee.[4] This victory led to her participating in the Scripps National Spelling Bee the same year,[5] where she lasted until the quarterfinals[6][7] and finished in 46th place. Following the competition, in June 2008 she was honored by the then-lieutenant governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, along with the other regional spelling bee champions.[8] She went on to attend Downers Grove North High School, where she was a member of the speech team. This team won four medals, one of which was for first place, at the 2011 Illinois High School Association state meet in Peoria.[9] As a senior, she was named to the "top two percent" in 2012.[10] In May 2016, she graduated from Loyola University Chicago with degrees in molecular biology and Arabic and Islamic studies. She began medical school at Chicago's Midwestern University in the fall of 2016.[11][12]

Work on Wikipedia

Video of Temple-Wood expressing why she thinks more women should edit, and be represented on, Wikipedia

Temple-Wood received national press coverage for creating Wikipedia articles about women scientists, as well as her activism to increase their representation on Wikipedia. She made her first edit to Wikipedia in 2005, at the age of 10.[13] She first started contributing to the site when she was 12,[14] and it was when she was 12 that she was first harassed online as a result of her Wikipedia contributions.[15] She began her efforts in regards to women scientists when she was in middle school.[16] In 2007, she became an administrator on Wikipedia[17] and served on the Arbitration Committee from 2016-2017. She co-founded Wikipedia's WikiProject Women Scientists in 2012;[18] since then, she has written hundreds of Wikipedia pages about female scientists.[19] Editing under the username "Keilana",[20] she began creating such articles when she noticed that few women who were members of the Royal Society had Wikipedia articles. She told the Wikimedia Foundation that when she first noticed this, she "got pissed and wrote an article that night. I literally sat in the hallway in the dorm until 2 am writing [my] first women in science article."[21][22] The article she is the most proud of is that on Rosalyn Scott, the first African-American woman to become a thoracic surgeon.[23]

2013 interview with Temple-Wood

Temple-Wood has also organized edit-a-thons at museums and libraries with the aim of increasing the representation of women scientists on Wikipedia.[24] In October 2015, she told The Atlantic that she had identified 4,400 women scientists who did not have Wikipedia articles written about them even though each of them was notable enough to be covered by one.[25] In March 2016, she gained international media attention because of her approach to the online sexual harassment she had received: for every such email she received, she plans to create a Wikipedia article about a woman scientist.[26][27][28][29] That month, she told BuzzFeed News that with respect to her doing this, "My motivation is to channel the frustration I feel from being harassed into something productive."[30] In May 2016, she told the Fader that "As a Wikipedian, my natural response to seeing a gap in coverage is to start a project, so that's what I did with the Women Scientists project. The narrative of history has been dominated by men, and making sure that women's biographies are included in Wikipedia can be our way of writing women back into that narrative."[31]

Her work led to her being named as joint Wikipedian of the Year in 2016, along with Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight.[32]


Temple-Wood is the vice president of Wikimedia DC, the District of Columbia-area chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as a member of their board of directors.[33] She is also a board member of the Wiki Project Med Foundation,[34] and a Wikipedian in Residence at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.[35]

The Keilana effect

A paper, "Interpolating Quality Dynamics in Wikipedia and Demonstrating the Keilana Effect", about a phenomenon named in Temple-Wood's honor, was presented by Aaron Halfaker at OpenSym '17, the International Symposium on Open Collaboration.[36][37]


  • Temple-Wood, Emily (2017). "Rewriting the History of Women in Science". Scientific American. 317 (3): 70–71. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0917-70. PMID 28813402.
  • "Wikipedia and the New Web". Facebook Nation. Springer New York. October 1, 2014. pp. 189–199. ISBN 978-1-4939-1739-6.
  • Temple-Wood, Emily; Silva, Diane. Exploring the Role of Raw in the Embryonic Nervous System. 56th Annual Drosophila Research Conference. Genetics Society of America. March 4–8, 2015[permanent dead link]
  • Temple-Wood, Emily (April 12, 2016). "It's Time These Ancient Women Scientists Get Their Due". Nautilus. Reprinted in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2017. Jahren, Hope, editor. Boston. ISBN 9781328715517. OCLC 1004672002.
  • Silva, Diane; Olsen, Kenneth W.; Bednarz, Magdalena N.; Droste, Andrew; Lenkeit, Christopher P.; Chaharbakhshi, Edwin; Temple-Wood, Emily R.; Jemc, Jennifer C.; Singh, Shree Ram (November 29, 2016). "Regulation of Gonad Morphogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster by BTB Family Transcription Factors". PLOS One. 11 (11): e0167283. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167283. PMC 5127561. PMID 27898696.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Emily (User:Keilana)". Twitter. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  2. ^ Wamble, Michael (February 23, 2006). "Three Kids Outwit, Outlast and Outspell Opponents". Daily Herald. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  3. ^ McMillen, Andrew (February 6, 2017). "One Woman's Brilliant "Fuck You" to Wikipedia Trolls". WIRED. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  4. ^ McKendrick, Eva (March 4, 2008). "13-year-old going to National Spelling Bee". Naperville Sun. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  5. ^ "Could You Use it in a Sentence, Please?". ABC 7. May 28, 2008.
  6. ^ Mathie, Frank (June 2, 2008). "8th-grade spellers represent Chicago area". ABC 7. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  7. ^ (May 30, 2008). National Spelling Bee (Image), Houston Chronicle ("Emily Temple-Wood, 14, of Downers Grove, Ill., celebrates making it through the second round.")
  8. ^ "Avery Coonley Students Honored by Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn". Avery Coonley School. September 22, 2008. Retrieved October 9, 2016. In June, Temple-Wood was recognized along with the other regional champions in a ceremony with Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield.
  9. ^ District 99 (February 23, 2011). "Speech Team at North High School in Downers Grove Places Eighth, Receives Four State Medals". TribLocal. Chicago Tribune.
  10. ^ Sersland, Melissa (May 4, 2012). "10 Seniors Named to Downers Grove North's Top Two Percent".
  11. ^ Avenant, Michelle (March 30, 2016). "Wikipedian writes woman scientist's biography whenever she is harassed". ITWeb. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  12. ^ Sayo, Charlene (May 26, 2016). "Emily Temple-Wood: 'If her name survived this long, that's a huge indicator of her importance.'". Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  13. ^ Hussain, Netha (January 4, 2014). "Countering the Systemic Bias on Wikipedia: An Interview With Emily Temple-Wood". The Huffington Post.
  14. ^ Sanghani, Radhika (March 14, 2016). "Student praised for tackling 'sexist Wikipedia' by creating page for female scientist every time she's trolled". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  15. ^ Simmons, Andy (January 3, 2017). "This Victim of Cyber-Bullying Is Confronting Misogynists in the Coolest Way". Reader's Digest. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  16. ^ Huang, Keira (August 11, 2013). "Wikipedia fails to bridge gender gap". South China Morning Post. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  17. ^ Vitulli, Marie A. (October 30, 2017). "Writing Women in Mathematics into Wikipedia". arXiv:1710.11103 [math.HO].
  18. ^ Akst, Jef (March 10, 2016). "Student Fights Harassment with Wikipedia". The Scientist. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  19. ^ Lee, Newton (2016). Google It: Total Information Awareness. Springer Science+Business Media. p. 87. ISBN 9781493964154.
  20. ^ Sherriff, Lucy (March 14, 2016). "Student Emily Temple-Wood Writes A New 'Women In Science' Wikipedia Entry Every Time She's Harassed". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  21. ^ Lutkin, Aimee (March 10, 2016). "A Biologist Is Writing a Wikipedia Article About a Woman Scientist For Every Harassing Email She Gets". Jezebel. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  22. ^ Chang, Rita (October 11, 2013). "Emily Temple-Wood: A cool Wikipedian on a big mission". Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  23. ^ "Female scientist fights harassment with Wikipedia". BBC. March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  24. ^ Cohen, Noam (March 19, 2014). "Warming Up to the Culture of Wikipedia". The New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  25. ^ Paling, Emma (October 21, 2015). "Wikipedia's Hostility to Women". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Gibson, Caitlin (March 11, 2016). "How one young female scientist decided to cope with online harassment". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  27. ^ Mosbergen, Dominique (March 10, 2016). "For Every Sexist Email She Gets, This College Student Will Pen a Wikipedia Entry About a Woman Scientist". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  28. ^ El Asri, Lucía (March 9, 2016). "Esta 'wikipedista' está poniendo a las científicas en el lugar que se merecen". (in Spanish). Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  29. ^ Winkel, Sarah (March 10, 2016). "Pour chaque mail sexiste reçu, elle crée la page Wikipédia d'une scientifique". 7sur7 (in French). Persgroep Digital. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  30. ^ Oakes, Kelly (March 10, 2016). "This Student Adds A Woman In Science To Wikipedia Every Time She's Harassed Online". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  31. ^ Cliff, Aimee (May 26, 2016). "These Innovators Are Making Tech Better For Everyone". The Fader. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  32. ^ "Jimmy Wales names Emily Temple-Wood and Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight as Wikipedians of the Year". Wikimedia Foundation. June 24, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  33. ^ "Board of Directors". Wikimedia DC. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  34. ^ "Board members". Wiki Project Med Foundation. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  35. ^ Temple-Wood, Emily (May 19, 2015). "A Wikipedian-in-Residence and the US government join forces to share knowledge on occupational safety and health". Wikimedia Blog. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  36. ^ Halfaker, Aaron. "Interpolating Quality Dynamics in Wikipedia and Demonstrating the Keilana Effect" (PDF). Retrieved August 13, 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  37. ^ The Royal Society of Chemistry (August 18, 2017). "Improving gender balance on Wikipedia". Retrieved August 28, 2017.

External links