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!