User talk:Wiki at Royal Society John

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Please let me know your thoughts on what can be done in this exciting role here, or by email if you prefer. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 14:07, 19 December 2013 (UTC)


A Wikipedian welcoming party

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If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and ask your question there. Again, welcome! BencherliteTalk 14:12, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi John, congratulations to this fascinating new role! I'm in for a discussion on how we could do something together. Open Access comes to mind (including collaborations of the kind we have with PLOS Computational Biology), but also perhaps an event targeted specifically at scholarly societies, a society-sponsored editing contest, a session at OKFest and cross-talk with Science GLAM activities (e.g. the Society's archives). -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:33, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Congratulations on your appointment. If you do anything medicine or health related then let me know and perhaps we can collaborate. I would be curious to know what kind of metrics you might be reporting back to the Royal Society about what you do. Also, like Daniel, I support open access projects and would support you in advancing any. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:54, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Hello John, Congrats again on your appointment, it's great to see the Society taking this on. I wrote this open letter to the Royal Society back in June 2012, so I'm delighted to see you appointed and looking forward to seeing what you get up to, and helping out a bit if I can. I'd be interested to hear what you think about creating biographies for living scientists who are fellows, e.g. only 24 out of 54 fellows elected in 2013 have wikipedia entries]. It would be great to see more, especially as many of them are already notable scientists doing important work. Duncan.Hull (talk) 16:44, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
That's one of the things we will be looking at, although as WiR my role won't include editing that might have a COI. We did a biographical editathon in November for Ada Lovelace Day, which was a great success, & will be doing other bio-based events, among other things. pp. Johnbod (talk) 16:51, 14 January 2014 (UTC)


Jan to June 2014, surely ;-) - David Gerard (talk) 11:49, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

of course, thanks Johnbod (talk) 13:52, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Sheila Bird[edit]

Hello John. Good to see that the RS are keeping you busy. Further to our brief meet-up discussion, the article (created at, or shortly after the Royal Society Ada Lovelace Day editathon) was deleted two minutes after I was notified, so I could not possibly have contested it. If there was any copyvio, wouldn't it just be easier and better to removed the relevant text? And we wonder why we have problems with editor retention! You might also want to speak with KTC, who took a photo of Sheila Bird and added it to the article. More here: User_talk:Edwardx#Speedy_deletion_nomination_of_Sheila_Bird Edwardx (talk) 16:23, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

You should take it up with the editor - Better you do it than I. Johnbod (talk) 16:34, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I've done so. Edwardx (talk) 18:42, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

General science coverage on Wikipedia[edit]

Hello, I've never been a very active editor on Wikipedia, but there's something that's been bothering me for a while and I've never been sure what to do about it: Wikipedia has incredible science coverage in terms of good information being available (especially in uncontroversial areas) - but in a very high proportion of cases, it's just not pitched at the level of the general reader. Important topics launch straight into scientific jargon with nothing like a lay summary or motivation for the reader; key points appear only after paragraphs of technical minutiae. I've often edited for clarity and structure when I've happened across things when I have the time, but this is very much more than a one-person job. I wondered if this is something you might be in a position to influence people to help with? Or do you have any thoughts about who might be better placed to achieve better accessibility here?

For background on where I'm coming from, I'm a trainee physics teacher and I've been active on Everything2 since before Wikipedia became a big thing, and I started a science writing group on there about a decade ago. It's lost a lot of steam since then, but we still get a trickle of quality science writing...


Oolong (talk) 16:46, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Generally I agree, and this is also the observation of many professional scientists, and even more so of science journalists and teachers. Maths articles are often completely impenetrable, though there there may be the excuse that the reader without advanced maths won't be able to understand the topic however you explain it, and doesn't need to. This is less effective as an excuse in medical articles. I think all leads should either be aimed at the start for a general readership, using more advanced language in later paragraphs, or contain a para where the subject is couched in as simple terms as is possible - I'd like to see many of these in boxes within the text. I encourage and support this approach where I can, but I'm just one voice in the world of wiki. We have guidelines supporting this approach, like Wikipedia:Make technical articles understandable, but these are very often ignored. The MOS:CS for computer science says just after the lead:

Probably the hardest part of writing any technical article is the difficulty of addressing the level of technical knowledge on the part of the reader. A general approach is to start simple, then move toward more formal and technical statements as the article proceeds.

Article introduction[edit]

The article should start with an introductory paragraph (or two), which describes the subject in general terms. This opening paragraph should give the casual reader a quick understanding of the concept.

- That's great, but is it followed in all articles? The Maths one MOS:MATH has similar talk:

Probably the hardest part of writing a mathematical article (actually, any article) is the difficulty of addressing the level of mathematical knowledge on the part of the reader. For example, when writing about a field, do we assume that the reader already knows group theory? A general approach is to start simple, then move toward more abstract and technical statements as the article proceeds.

Article introduction See also: WP:Manual of Style (lead section)

The article should start with a short introductory section (often referred to as the lead). The purpose of this section is to describe, define, and give context to the subject of the article, to establish why it is interesting or useful, and to summarize the most important points. The lead should as far as possible be accessible to a general reader, so specialized terminology and symbols should be avoided as much as possible.

-that is completely ignored in most maths articles I see! Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Medicine-related_articles#Writing_for_the_wrong_audience is sound stuff, also very often ignored. And so on. Template:Technical, with the tag to moan about this, is transcluded on 2703 articles (not all scientific of course) but I wonder how much cleaning up is done. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 19:13, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

March 2014[edit]

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  • ''Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Madame Marie Sklodowska Curie’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry'']], p. 25, by M. H. Chiu, P. J. Gilmer, D. F. Treagust, et al., 2012, Springer.</ref> This work went

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DYK for Marie Meurdrac[edit]

Another good hook. Cheers. Victuallers (talk) 09:52, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

DYK for Edith Humphrey[edit]

Thanks for your help Victuallers (talk) 18:22, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

-copied from other account. Both from editathon.

The Royal Society Library in London are looking for a collaboration[edit]

I'm afraid I can't read the Royal Society's catalogue at the moment (using a work computer) so I'll have to wait to browse later. So, without being able to see anything, some thoughts: It would be best for Wikisource if any documents were unique and unavailable elsewhere. Wikisource doesn't have a problem with a lack of available, scanned works and there's no point putting effort into scanning things if they're already on the Internet Archive (or even Google Books, although better quality scans would be nice in that case). Does the Society have the facilities to create DjVu/PDF documents with Optical Character Recognition-based text layers? If not, short works would be better (or upload raw scans to the Internet Archive and let them derive the files). I wouldn't really be able to tell which are the important or valuable texts, even if I could read the catalogue. (The personal papers and manuscripts sound interesting; although, unless they transferred their rights too, about half of the personal papers are probably still under copyright.) - AdamBMorgan (talk) 14:04, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, "unique and unavailable elsewhere" and also shortish, was the idea. Their most famous MS, like Boyle's Notebooks, the early RS Minutes, and the extensive letters of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek are already printed. I'll ask about the software they have, but how useful is that for 17th-19th century handwriting, which is where their strengths lie? They are thinking of what they have, but are hoping someone has a special interest in something they wouldn't think of. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 14:44, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
No, OCR wouldn't be much use with handwriting, and if there aren't too many pages then working with simple JPEGs is manageable, without the need for conversion to PDF or DjVu. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 16:17, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

DYK nomination of June Lascelles[edit]

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of June Lascelles at the Did You Know nominations page has been reviewed, and some issues with it may need to be clarified. Please review the comment(s) underneath your nomination's entry and respond there as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing to Did You Know! Mindmatrix 21:18, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

In case you weren't aware of it, I did reply to your comment a few days ago. You should keep DYK nomination pages on your watchlist to track progress. Mindmatrix 16:34, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Don't worry, I was, and I do. It was two days ago, to be precise. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 16:38, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

DYK nomination of Maria Carmelo Lico[edit]

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of Maria Carmelo Lico at the Did You Know nominations page has been reviewed, and some issues with it may need to be clarified. Please review the comment(s) underneath your nomination's entry and respond there as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing to Did You Know! Yoninah (talk) 09:45, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

DYK for Frieda Robscheit-Robbins[edit]

The DYK project (nominate) 00:02, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

DYK for Julie Makani[edit]

Materialscientist (talk) 09:43, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

DYK for Maria Carmela Lico[edit]

Cheers and thanks, hope you are having a good weekend Victuallers (talk) 21:17, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

DYK for June Lascelles[edit]

The DYK project (nominate) 00:02, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Royal Society papers[edit]

Following on from our chat at WP:FTN... I think there might be some space to make information in otherwise extract-only publications from the Royal Society available to Wikipedia in some form. It's not an issue limited only to the Royal Society but without access to full papers and reports, new editors tend to draw their own conclusions, often with concerning results (as we saw).

I'm not suggesting that editors here be given direct access to material that is otherwise subscription only, but it would be good if there was a way for editors to verify at least the basics of what has been published. I'm not sure how that would work internally for your people but I would think it would be in their interests for information sourced to Royal Society publications to be as accurate as possible. Anyway, just something to think about. Cheers, Stalwart111 12:49, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Royal Society journals, though it is for for a relatively limited number. In addition I can sometimes check specific points (until July), though not usually quickly. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 01:50, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
That's a great initiative. Perhaps some of those participants (those with access) could be asked if they would be willing to undertake checks/research for other editors? Stalwart111 09:22, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


Is it possible to obtain portraits of Fellows of the R. S. (at least pre-1923)? I am looking for one of David Douglas Cunningham (there is very low-res one in a published biography which was sourced from Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists, The Linnean Society of London but there might be one with the Royal Society too. Thanks. Shyamal (talk) 06:30, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

They don't consistently have them at that period (and later they don't often own all the copyright), but I'll ask. The Aerobiologia one must be PD by now, & can be cropped off the page, but I agree it's very low res. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 09:18, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok, done that - now uploaded & on the article. Still fairly lo-res, but not too bad image. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 14:40, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Nice, thanks. I wrote to the Linnean Society archivists and they said they would have to scan afresh and charge me £15+VAT and had a confused statement on copyrights! Shyamal (talk) 10:58, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for May 11[edit]

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RF training[edit]

Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 13:17, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


Testing leaving a signature. Mirams (talk) 14:14, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Oleg.mitrofanov (talk) 15:08, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Pathmanathan, Pras; Bernabeu, Miguel O.; Bordas, Rafel; Cooper, Jonathan; Garny, Alan; Pitt-Francis, Joe M.; Whiteley, Jonathan P.; Gavaghan, David J. "A numerical guide to the solution of the bidomain equations of cardiac electrophysiology". Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 102 (2-3): 144. doi:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2010.05.006.  More than one of |pages= and |page= specified (help);

Radiocarbon dating[edit]

Hi John -- I'm not sure if this is an appropriate thing to ask a Wikipedian-in-Residence, but I thought it would be worth a try. I've been working on radiocarbon dating and would like to get some feedback from a subject matter expert, as I have no background in the area at all. I've asked an archaeologist I know, but he's not a specialist in radiocarbon dating, and although I think I'll get good feedback from him, it would be even better to get someone who is a specialist in the subject to take a look. Is this something you could mediate? I have emailed the British Museum to see if they can put me in contact with Sheridan Bowman, who used to work there, and who wrote a book I've cited heavily, but I haven't heard back (and I don't know if she's even still alive, anyway). I have some specific questions I'd like to get answered (and sourced): is there a current text that explains Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dating sequences? Are there current calibration curves in general use outside INTCAL? Is beta counting really used any more? What is the technical set up for IRMS for fractionation, and is that usually done by the same labs that do AMS? But beyond the specific questions I'd like the general review -- have I made glaring errors? Is the balance right? Am I missing recent developments?

Well, you know the sort of thing I'm looking for. Is this something you might be able to help with? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 03:41, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Hmm, interesting effect there with the reflist. Since you appear to be training people on how to use refs, I won't try to fix it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 03:41, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Fixed sigs above to reflect my own signature, now that the problem is fixed. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 03:41, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Images - thanks![edit]

I just read your latest report draft. You (and your sponsors) achieved a lot in one day a week!

I am excitedly looking forward to seeing the photographs of the 17th century manuscripts, especially Principia, and those of the new fellows. Was the Principia fair copy written in Newton's hand, or by an editor or secretary?

--Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 08:39, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Mike Peel's photos are at [1] - do use them! The Principia was a fair copy by his secretary (and nephew I think) Humphrey Newton, done for the printer of the 1st edn. But we got some pages with corrections or notes in Newton's own hand. The Fellows were only taken on Friday so should be up soon. Johnbod (talk) 00:41, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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