Darwin Day 2023
February 12, 2023
Happy Darwin Day! As we do every year, we are taking advantage of Charles Darwin’s birthday to celebrate science. This year, we are celebrating the contributions of scientists who have been overlooked or undervalued because of bias. At BSCS Science Learning, we are committed to raising the profile of diverse scientists as part of our work as science educators.
Dr. Jessica Wade, a physicist based in London, shares that commitment. While she is an accomplished scientist herself and has received the British Empire Medal for her work, she spends much of her time shining the spotlight on others. In fact, Jess has written more than 1,750 Wikipedia entries for overlooked female and minority scientists.
It all started five years ago, when she spontaneously wrote her first biography about Kim Cobb, an accomplished climatologist who impressed her at a science event. Jess figured, the more people who know about Kim and others like her, the more opportunities they’ll receive.
Her commitment to this effort is aligned with her personal campaign to get more girls interested in studying and working in STEM. She believes that it’s important not only to increase the number of girls choosing science but also to increase the proportion of women who stay in the field.
We had the opportunity to connect with Jess directly, and it’s clear she shares our admiration for today’s science educators, who are crucial to this endeavor. To them she’d say, “You have the most important job in the world: training future scientists to help protect the planet we love. I’m sorry you’re not celebrated as much as you should be. Thank you for continuing to inspire and innovate.”
At BSCS, we love everything Jess represents. We also understand that the best way to honor Jess is by sharing stories of other scientists. So each day this week, we’ll be featuring Wikipedia entries she’s written about scientists you may not know but should. We hope you are as moved by Jess’s actions as we are and will follow along online.
Daniel C. Edelson
BSCS Executive Director