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When I started systematically working on under-represented scientists from history on Wikipedia, I didn't realize that this would mean I would spend a lot of time learning about civil rights activists and lynching, too. Why is a story for later. But as I point out in my second Missing Scientists' Faces blog post this month, some people you can't just pass by and move on to look for more scientists.

Here a new Wikipedia page for the amazing suffragist and anti-lynching activist, Nellie Griswold Francis (1874-1969), who wrote and lobbied into legislation Minnesota's Anti-Lynching Bill in 1921. The story of her and her husband, William T. Francis, involve singing, Ku Klux Klan burning crosses on the lawn, a grandmother who was a Congressman's slave, meetings with W.E.B. DuBois, Minnesota's first black diplomat - and contributing to the downfall of a government in Liberia. Yet between them, all there was on Wikipedia was a few sketchy paras on him.

In other news: Could science's reform movement be used against it politically? I'm one of the people Ed Yong interviewed on this: in The Atlantic. And by Julia Belluz in Vox, on combatting misinformation and why this has dominated my life for decades.

A forgotten pioneering African-American physicist & correcting the record: the month's first roundup of photos at Missing Scientists' Faces. The second one: a rare picture of the first African-American woman to gain a PhD in a natural science, mathematicians, and some more non-scientists of color, too.

And Mary Elliott Hill (b 1907), likely the first African-American woman to get a master's degree in chemistry: new Wikipedia page. Other new pages:

  • Pilar Thomas, tribal lawyer, and member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe of Arizona;
  • Georgia Caldwell Smith (1909-1961), Spelman College head of mathematics, and one of the first African-American women to gain degrees in mathematics, as well as a PhD awarded posthumously (she died from cancer after her dissertation);
  • Louise Nixon Sutton (1925-2006), another of the first group of African-American women to gain PhDs in mathematics - and the first one conferred to an African-American woman by New York University.
  • Thyrsa Frazier Svager (1930-1999), another of the first group of African-American women to gain PhDs in mathematics - she and her husband saved one of their professorial salaries to invest towards a legacy for scholarships for African-American and other minority students.

Debunking Advice Debunked: post at Absolutely Maybe. Correcting misinformation is something so important, you would think we would really be on top of how to do it, wouldn't you? Sigh!

 

 

 

 

We added an icon LinkOut in PubMed for Institutional Repositories. I blogged about it at Absolutely Maybe: A little springtime for green open access? Icons for more free full texts in PubMed - and wrote about it with Kathy Kwan from LinkOut in the NLM Technical Bulletin.

PLOS posted a podcast with me, talking with Elizabeth Seiver all about science communication and critique.

But the main focus of writing this month has been a new personal project that began last month, Black History Month:

 

 

That kept spiraling, into a Twitter account, a new blog, and the How-To Guide: Help Find Missing Scientists' Faces. Got 15 minutes to help? An hour here and there? More? Read the guide and go for it! And it wasn't long before there was a new blog to bring it all together: Missing Scientists' Faces.

This got picked up by Nature News, the British Psychological Society's The Psychologist magazine, then Vox and USA Today.

New Wikipedia pages:

  • Janie L. Mines (first African-American woman to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy)
  • Carolyn Parker (physicist, b. 1917, African-American woman)
  • Lonnie Standifer (entomologist, African-American man)
  • Sophie Lutterlough (entomologist, African-American woman)
  • Marilyn Nance (photographer & storyteller, African-American woman - at an Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon)
  • Jane Hinton (co-developer of Mueller-Hinton agar, later first African-American woman veterinarian)
  • Cheryl L. Shavers (chemist, expert in semiconductors, African-American woman)
  • Jesse Jarue Mark (botanist, b. 1906, African-American man)

 

Is a new wave of open access in science building in Europe? My annual roundup of developments in open access, including my own analysis of the extent of free-to-read literature in the biomedical literature database, PubMed. At Absolutely Maybe, Open Access 2016: A Year of Price Bargaining, Preprints, and a Pirate.

You can see where all my "spare" time went in February, in the post Black History Month: The Complicated Power of More Women Scientists' Faces. As well as adding photos, started 5 new Wikipedia pages for African-American women scientists: Angie Turner King, Jane Hinton, Cheryl L. Shavers, Jesse Jarue Mark, and Jessie Isabelle Price.

And a comment I made at PubMed Commons rounds up some resources on updating systematic reviews.

 

 

 

 

First off at Absolutely Maybe, continuing the discussion about scientific controversies and how opinion shifts: When Science Polarizes: A Personal Activist Story with Evidence.

On the weekend of the anniversary of George Orwell's death, political doublespeak put his final masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, in the news again. Here's the personal and social context of his struggle to stay alive while writing it: Down and Almost Out in Scotland: George Orwell, 1948, and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

And 1933 redux. The incredible A.V. Hill's thoughts on internationalism in science and the freedom of scientists to travel and work, and the rise of dangerous forms of nationalism. "The Same Folly, the Same Fury": A.V. Hill in 1933.

In case you missed one, these were my 5 most-visited posts in 2016:

 

 

 

 

Still shocked that research participants so often aren't informed of study results! Silence: Everyday Betrayals of Research Participants (Absolutely Maybe)

I participated in a roundtable Q&A on preprints in biomedicine with John Ioannidis and others at Clinical Chemistry (PDF).

Posted at Absolutely Maybe, Reproducibility Crisis Timeline: Milestones in Tackling Reproducibility.