Episode One Hundred And Forty Two – On Women In Science And Wikipedia – Interview With Professor Uta Frith

Ada Lovelace Day was held on the 16th October, 2012 – a day that celebrates the contributions of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

As you may know, Ada Lovelace is considered the first programmer, due to her work on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. So I was very interested to learn that Wikimedia UK and Professor Uta Frith of the Royal Society held a Women in Science-themed editing event for Ada Lovelace Day.

As Jane Evans wrote for an article on the event for The Upcoming:

2012 marks the Royal Society’s 350th birthday. Sadly women have only been fellows for the past 67 years, and still only make up 5% of the total. Wikipedia has a similarly poor record, with research from 2009 indicating that just 13% of their active community are female.

The Guardian – Forgotten women of science win recognition online; Royal Society and Wikimedia UK mark Ada Lovelace Day with event to promote work of female scientists.

The UpcomingThe Royal Society shines a light on science’s invisible women.

The IndependentWikipedia gets overdue makeover to give recognition to science’s female pioneers; Royal Society hosts edit-a-thon to raise the profile of women whose contribution has been overlooked.

Huffington Post A Factory for Scientific Heroines at the Royal Society of London, authored by Professor Frith.

Professor Uta Frith is a developmental psychologist working at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. She is a pioneer of much of the current research in autism and dyslexia, and is the author of several books on these issues. She has been influential on the work of Simon Baron-Cohen and Tony Attwood, both of whom worked under her as PhD students. One of her recent books is the Very Short Introduction to Autism, which was was published in October 2008.

Another one of Professor Frith’s recent interests is the advancement of women in science, by developing a support network called science & shopping, where she hopes to “encourage women to share ideas and information that are inspiring and fun”.

Photo by Daria Cybulska (WMUK) - WMUK event on 19 October 2012 at the Royal Society, London. Participants editing articles about women in science – Professor Uta Frith editing an article about Mary Buckland, with Katie Chan.


Music used in this episode, “Coffee By Numbers” by Marian Call, at www.mariancall.com. Theme songs are “P&P” by Derek K. Miller of www.penmachine.com and “Leap Second” by Milton Mermikides, of www.miltonmermikides.com.

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