Wikipedia:Meetup/Durham/Women of Science and Philosophy

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Emilie Chatelet portrait by Latour

Women of Science and Philosophy: Reframing the Canon with the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection and Project Vox[edit]

Please join us for an opportunity to learn how to edit Wikipedia articles for a global audience, and to help record the hidden history of women in science and philosophy. This event aims to capitalize on documentation of women's achievements in the fields of science and philosophy, now available thanks to the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection (recently acquired by Duke University Libraries) and Project Vox.

From labor, science and activism, to art and philosophy, the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection and Project Vox document the many ways women have been productive, creative, and socially engaged over more than five hundred years. A wealth of rare documentary materials in the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection sheds light on the long history of women's involvement in a variety of scientific disciplines. Project Vox is an online platform developed by scholars at Duke for discovering and discussing the forgotten contributions made by women to philosophy and science during the early modern period. The goal of this Edit-a-thon is to raise awareness about the key intellectual figures whose works are featured in the collections by creating and contributing to entries on Wikipedia. While the focus of the event will be on those women present in these collections, participants are also encouraged to work on figures and/or themes they consider relevant to the Edit-a-thon's broader topic.

Put your knowledge and intellectual curiosity into action by creating, editing, or translating Wikipedia entries that document the lives and contributions of women in philosophy and science. By collaborating together we can disseminate this important information to the broader public. This event is part of a worldwide movement to increase the percentage of women editors and woman-focused articles within Wikipedia. Bring your laptop if you have one, or use one of ours. You can also participate from anywhere in the world! Sponsored by Duke University Libraries, the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, the Italian Program at Duke, and the Duke Medical Center Archives. Refreshments will be provided for participants who join us on-site at Duke University Libraries' The Edge to edit entries.

Jane S. Richardson, a James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry, who developed the ribbon-diagram as the first 3-D representation of protein structures, and a noted Wikipedia contributor, will inaugurate the Edit-a-thon.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016 6:00- 9:00pm


The Edge Workshop Room 1st Floor Bostock Library (Duke University, Durham, NC) (map)


To increase the number of pages on Wikipedia about the contributions of women to science and philosophy and to help close the Wikipedia Gender Gap

What to Bring[edit]

A laptop if you can! There will also be a few laptops available to use. Please create a Wikipedia account in advance. (Too many sign ups from the same domain in a short period of time results in a lockout from creating new accounts.) If you have research materials you want to use, bring those as well. If you are interested in adopting one of the women or topics listed below, please make a notation and we'll bring some background material for you. Otherwise, just bring yourself and your enthusiasm!

Getting Started[edit]

Want to get a head start? You can:

  • Create an account and set up a user page
    • You’ll be able to edit Wikipedia without creating an account, but you must be signed in to create articles
    • Wikipedia has a limit on the number of accounts that can be created in a day at one IP address; help us avoid blocks by creating your account early!
  • Read about Wikipedia’s core content policies and five pillars
  • Learn about wiki markup
  • Check out the Wikipedia resources below for information on editing and article creation
  • Practice edits

Or just wait for the event, and we’ll walk you through it!

Wikipedia Resources[edit]

External Resources[edit]


  • Professor Jane Richardson's handout

Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Editing[edit]

Discovering the Talk Page:[edit]

Click on the “Talk” page and familiarize yourself with debates about the already existing content.

Analyzing the Entry Structure:[edit]

Are all of the standard components of an Wikipedia entry already present? (Life, Influence/Legacy, List of Works, Notes, References, Further Reading, External Links, Info Box)

Assessing References:[edit]

Are the citations reliable? (provide link to Wikipedia guidelines for citations and references)

Hyperlinks and Categories:[edit]

Does the Wikipedia entry provide internal or external links to the topics it mentions? Are the categories pertinent? Are any categories missing?

Possible Topics[edit]

Articles to Create[edit]

  • Ruth Addoms (professor of botany at Duke University; A.B. and A.M. from Wellesley, Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; Addoms played an active role in the development of the Department of Botany and the Women's College.)
  • Valerie Ashby Current Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University; B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill; National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and NATO Postdoctoral Fellow.
  • Bessie Baker (first dean of Duke University School of Nursing)
  • Frances Brown (professor) (professor of chemistry at Duke University from 1931-1973)
  • Rebecca Buckley (Duke pediatrician focused on genetic disorders of the immune system; has been a pioneer in the use of bone marrow transplantation to provide immune reconstitution to infants with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID))
  • Eleanor Easley (First woman to graduate from Duke's four-year medical school program and the first female resident at Duke's hospital; Cofounded NC's first medical partnership, the Durham Women's Clinic; Pioneer in the use of anesthesiology for labor and delivery.)
  • Camilla Erculiani apothecary and author of Letters on Natural Philosophy, published in 1584.
  • Ann Henshaw Gardiner (assistant professor of nursing education at Duke University School of Nursing)
  • Susan Hill (activist) (Founder and director, National Women's Health Organization.)
  • Thelma Ingles (instrumental in creating clinical master's program at Duke University School of Nursing)
  • Elizabeth A. McMahan (Duke alumna; 1943-1954 Research Assistant, Parapsychology Laboratory, Duke University; 1961-1987 Professor, Department of Biology, UNC-Chapel Hill; Entomologist with a focus on termites)
  • Ida Owens (First African American woman to receive a doctorate from Duke (Ph.D. in Physiology, 1967); Recipient of NIH Director’s Award (1992); Presently head of the Section on Genetic Disorders of Drug Metabolism in the Program on Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics)
  • Louisa E. Rhine (Known internationally for her work in parapsychology; served as director of the Foundation for the Research on the Nature of Man, founded by husband J.B. Rhine, from 1980-1983; author of eighteen scientific reports and six books on parapsychology.)
  • Margherita Sarrocchi epic poet and Galileo's correspondent ( a stub available for translation in the Italian Wikipedia)
  • Sharon Female Seminary (Established in 1837 by Hicksite Quakers John and Rachel Jackson at their residence in Darby, later Sharon Hill, PA, emphasized natural philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, and other sciences.)
  • Victoria Tepe (Experimental psychologist and neurophysiologist, author, and advocate for women's reproductive health and rights.)
  • Catherine Wilfert Duke pediatrician whose clinical trial group demonstrated the efficacy of using doses of AZT to reduce the incidence of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Articles to Edit[edit]

These articles are well developed, but there is always room for improvement:

Project Vox Philosophers[edit]


(sign up by editing the page and entering four tildes ~. This will automatically put in your username.)





Did you create or edit an article? List it here!

Other local edit-a-thons[edit]

This is one of several edit-a-thons happening in Chapel Hill and Durham in March-April 2016. If you're in the area, please consider participating in the following meet-ups as well!

Women + Graphic Novels- UNC Chapel Hill, April 6, 2016

African Diaspora Women Artists- UNC Chapel Hill, April 7, 2016

Women in Science- UNC Chapel Hill, April 18, 2016

More in Chapel Hill and Durham, NC