Ada Lovelace Day 2017 – Celebrating Women in STEM

On Tuesday 10th October 2017, the University’s Information Services team are running an edit-a-thon to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day 2017 which is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

This year the event will have a particular focus on Women in Chemistry and #ALD2017 is to be hosted, for the first time,  smack dab in the university’s Science and Engineering quarter in the James Clerk Maxwell Building.

There will be a range of guest speakers in the morning followed by fun technology activities from 11am to 2pm. Full Wikipedia editing training will be given at 2-3pm. Thereafter the afternoon’s edit-a-thon will focus on improving the quality of articles related to Women in STEM!

In particular, our editing will focus on the 19 petitioners denied admission to Royal Society of Chemistry in 1904 as evidenced in this article: Pounding on the Doors: The Fight for Acceptance of British Women Chemists.

The day will close with Professor Polly Arnold, the Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry and winner of the Rosalind Franklin Award, introducing the short film, A Chemical Imbalance before taking part in a discussion panel.

All three events are free and open to all so taking part in Ada Lovelace Day is as as easy as 1,2,3.

You can book to attend one session, two sessions or all three.


1. Talks and Fun Science/Tech activities in Room 1206C James Clerk Maxwell Building

Book here to attend the talks and fun science/tech activities.

2. The Wikipedia editathon in Room 4325C James Clerk Maxwell Building

Book here to attend the editathon.

How do I prepare? for the editathon?

  • Sign up for the event
  • Create a Wikipedia account
  • Bring a laptop (wi-fi will be provided)
  • Learn about editing if you like. there is a fun Wikipedia Adventure that takes 45-60 mins at home and leads you by the hand through the main guidelines and how to use the Source Editor. Then on the day, we will introduce you to the new improved Visual Editor interface which has made editing Wikipedia “easy“, “fun“, “really intuitive” and “addictive as hell“.
  • Think about what you would like to edit – there are some suggested articles to create/improve below.
  • Consult the Manual of Style for Biographies on Wikipedia

3. Film screening and panel discussion in James Clerk Maxwell Building – Lecture Theatre B

5:15pm to 6:15pm – A Chemical Imbalancefilm screening and discussion with Professor Polly L Arnold, Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry.

Breakdown on evening programme (subject to alteration):’

  • 5pm to 5.15pm – Housekeeping and Welcome.
  • 5.15pm to 5.30pm – Introduction from Polly Arnold.
  • 5.30pm to 5.45pm – Screening of ‘A Chemical Imbalance’.
  • 5.45pm to 6.15pm – Panel discussion chaired by Anne-Marie Scott, Head of Digital Learning and Applications at the University of Edinburgh.
  • 6.15pm – Close.

A Chemical Imbalance is a short documentary film and book that ask why Edinburgh has such a long history of successful female chemists, and why women are still under-represented in all science fields. Following the film, Anne-Marie Scott will chair a panel discussion of the issues raised in the film; namely the low participation of Women in STEM fields and equality in the workplace.

The confirmed panelists are:

Book here to attend the film screening and discussion panel.

It promises to be a great day so come along to learn about how Wikipedia works and contribute a greater understanding of Women in STEM!