Wikipedia 2018

Soon I should be receiving those irritating annual appeals to donate to Wikipedia. This year I won’t be giving! The main reason is this article appearing in the Guardian:

This week Donna Strickland was awarded the Nobel prize in Physics. In March, she was deemed too insignificant to warrant a Wikipedia article.

Donna Strickland, one of three people who earned a Nobel prize in Physics in 2018.

Wikipedia is yet another male dominated organization that needs to be disrupted. What this world needs now is gender balance. I would like to know what Wikipedia is doing to ensure that more than 16% of the site’s volunteer editors are female? Is the Wikipedia working environment making life inviting enough to encourage more female editors? Indeed, I would like to know more about gender bias in the criteria for notability, and why only 17% of entries dedicated to notable people are for women?

I will end this post by offering my congratulations to Donna Strictland for earning her Nobel prize.


An reader was concerned about today’s blog and suggested I ” should actually look into the matter before starting rogue boycott actions. If [I] feel there isn’t sufficient coverage of a topic on Wikipedia, don’t complain about others not writing articles, start writing them yourself.”

In a conversation with this reader, it was pointed out that the issue was not about Strictland’s notability, but verification of this notability that was lacking. Verifiability is especially important for living people, since incorrect information can have serious consequences, and be difficult to correct. This reader also pointed out that the number of notable men is larger than notable women.

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