WOMEN IN SCIENCE MONTH JESS WADE- ’Why we need to keep speaking about equity in science- case study Wikipedia’

Dr Jess Wade
March 1st, 2021 Jess Wade Research Fellow, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Materials

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February) and International Women’s Day (8th March) are two international events that have inspired ICFO to dedicate an entire month (Feb 11th – Mar 8th) to women in science with activities designed to celebrate women’s accomplishments as well as examine the current reality for women pursing scientific careers.

These events are directed to all ICFOnians as well as member of our extended community, and aim to support a diverse and inclusive environment in science.

INVITED TALK: "Why we need to keep speaking about equity in science- case study Wikipedia"
*** Organized by ICONS***
Dr. Jess Wade, Research Fellow, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Materials Imperial College
Moderator Pablo Fernandez, PhD candidate at ICFO and Diversity Officer, ICONS

Dr Jess Wade is an Imperial College Research Fellow working in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. Her research considers new materials for optoelectronic devices, with a focus on chiral organic semiconductors. She previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Fuchter group at Imperial College London, where she optimised these chiral systems such that they can absorb/emit circularly polarised light as well as transport spin-polarised electrons. For her PhD Jess concentrated on new materials for photovoltaics and the development of advanced characterisation techniques to better understand their molecular packing. Outside of the lab, Jess is involved with several science communicate on and outreach initiatives. She is committed to improving diversity in science, both online and offline.

Evidence shows that diverse teams are more innovative and more highly cited, but science is still a long way from equal representation. In 2018, a data scientist found we were still 258 years from gender parity in the authors of physics papers. In 2019, the Royal Society of Chemistry reported than an inflexible and unsupportive academic culture was driving talented women chemists elsewhere. SPIE estimate that worldwide, only 20% of people employed in photonics are women. As scientific researchers, we know that in order to try and solve problems, we first need to understand them. In this talk we’ll look at why certain groups are underrepresented in academia and discuss what we can do to build a more equitable scientific community.

After a short break, Jess will teach you how to edit Wikipedia: the open-access, crowd-sourced encyclopaedia committed to democratising access to knowledge. Every month, 1.5 billion people turn to Wikipedia for information. But only 18.6% of Wikipedia’s biographies are about women, and even fewer are about people of colour. It’s up to us to make sure that the information on Wikipedia is up-to-date and reflects the diverse global community it serves.

Reference: Dr Jess Wade . TED Talk (Link to video)

Monday, March 1, 2021, 11:00. Online