Quicksilver, helping improve Wikipedia's science coverage & gender bias
August 3, 2018 2:01 PM   Subscribe

About six years ago, there was a Wikipedia edit-a-thon (MetaFilter) for Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating women in STEM by improving the visibility of women in Wikipedia, and there's a commemorative Wikiprojects page. Stemming from another recent edit-a-thon aimed at improving entries on women scientists to address the long-standing gender bias on Wikipedia (MetaFilter, Sept. 18, 2012), folks at Primer, a machine intelligence company, developed Quicksilver to help automate identification of missing scientists, and specifically used at three recent edit-a-thons for improving coverage of women of science (Wired coverage, with additional recognition to 500 Women Scientists for collaborating and inspiring them). You can access a Quicksilver-produced dataset on Github.
posted by filthy light thief (8 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
In addition to the Related Posts below, here are some Previouslies: posted by filthy light thief at 2:05 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


folks at Primer, a machine intelligence company, developed Quicksilver to

Neal Stephenson fans, I presume?
posted by AlSweigart at 3:17 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


There is a question I've been struggling with for a while, Is every measurable difference between men and women gender bias? or are there other relevant variables?

In the case of wikipedia I wonder where in the process bias is introduced. Are there just less notable women in stem to write about? or are people less interested in writing about women.

Either way it's good that people are investing time bringing previously overlooked contributions to light.

I've really never understood wikipedia's notability guidelines, it could easily be a much deeper resource. It seems better to have an entry and find out that no one reads it, then to assume it is not worthwhile in the first place.
posted by KBGB at 4:09 PM on August 3


There's no report about the revert-a-thon that inevitably followed. Wikipedia sucks sometimes.
posted by w0mbat at 4:30 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


There's no report about the revert-a-thon that inevitably followed. Wikipedia sucks sometimes.

Wikipedia rules are pretty well laid out.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:58 PM on August 3


Is every measurable difference between men and women gender bias? or are there other relevant variables?

As far as I can tell, at the population/aggregate level, there do seem to be some measurable differences (for example, height, or certain aspects of temperament) that probably aren't attributable to gender bias (although even here the waters seem a little muddy to me even if we're reaching for some idea of biological constitution, since sexual selection is a force in play and that's probably marginally malleable via social/behavioral conditioning).

Buuuut, when it comes to representation in science, there's enough documented bias against women -- in many cases, quite explicit bias -- for enough of history that it's probably going to take us a while yet of digging off layers of sexism to figure out what some kind of baseline floor of interest by gender would look like.
posted by wildblueyonder at 6:22 PM on August 3 [6 favorites]


Here, have some Documented Bias.

Women can expect to be substantially discounted any time they deal with a male-centered institution. Women of the same level of achievement as men will be seen as "less notable." Their lives and careers will be of less interest, so no one will think to record their significant facts. Thus, there is less information about them, which makes them look less notable, which means Wikipedia will ignore them, which means they are less notable, which means....
posted by Weftage at 6:30 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


Wikipedia rules are pretty well laid out.

And always executed in a carefully reasoned and impartial manner, with one eye looking to make of the present a better future. /s

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_enforcement

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism_in_the_workplace#Coping_strategies_for_dealing_with_workplace_narcissists

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogyny#Online_misogyny
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:48 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


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