Female Scientists Notability and Wikipedia

Today we’re reading Katrina Krämer’s article “Female Scientists’ Pages Keep Disappearing from Wikipedia – What’s Going On?” in Chemistry World. As we read this article, consider some of the following questions: 

  • In their policy on notability Wikipedia states that “the person who is the topic of a biographical article should be “worthy of notice” or “note” that is, “remarkable” or “significant, interesting, or unusual enough to deserve attention or to be recorded” within Wikipedia as a written account of that person’s life. “Notable” in the sense of being famous or popular—although not irrelevant—is secondary.” Unpack this policy. What makes someone worthy of notice? How do we decide who is remarkable or significant? 
  • Krämer notes that that entries about women are more likely to mention that they are women or female and “more likely to contain words related to relationship status or family.” Why do you think this is the case? 
  • Why does depending on “community consensus” continues sexism, racism, homophobia, and trans-erasure on Wikipedia?
  • How might you overcome the notability requirement for your Wikipedia entry?

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