A recap of York University’s 1st Ada Lovelace Day celebrations

What a week it has been as @mishraapriti @birtalan @dupuisj (LtoR, below, grappling with Wikipedia editing in Steacie Science and Engineering Library) will tell you! (That’s a link to John Dupuis’ post about Ada Lovelace Wikipedia Editathons at his blog: Confessions of a Science Librarian).

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Following March 2015’s celebration of our female alumni and their diverse career paths, we participated in International Ada Lovelace Day, for the first time at York University, with two events this week. Ada Lovelace Day was launched in Britain in 2007, and has spread across the globe. This year, there was an event in Kathmandu!

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The first York event was a lively and informative talk by Ryerson University’s Dean of Science and former Chair of York University Biology, Imogen Coe, seen here with Biology professor, Rob Tsushimi in the new Bergeron Centre of Excellence in Engineering. Imogen explained “All about STEMinism“, and how the challenge of recruiting more women into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields can be met.
Imogen told a packed room: “A #STEMinist is anyone who champions #WomeninSTEM
Perhaps the most fascinating thing that I saw in action, was Ben Schmidt‘s analysis of gendered language, by subject area in RateMyProfessors.com evaluations (I had heard about it, but not previously had a chance to see it in action).
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Two lucky students from the more than 40 people who attended, won tickets to Chris Hadfield’s Science Generator show at Massey Hall.
The second event, on Thursday October 29th was a day-long drop-in Women in STEM Edit-a-thon held in Steacie Science and Engineering Library. A diverse group of over 20 students, faculty and interested members of the public learned how to create and edit Wikipedia pages about women in STEM, which is an under-represented group in Wikipedia. Participants came from Science, Lassonde, Health, AMPD, Libraries and LAPS. York University Libraries made a great Storify of tweets from the event. One very nice surprise was a visit by representatives of the Psychology’s Feminist Voices project: Tal, Susannah and Lisa. Thank you, all!
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In 2014, Simon Fraser University celebrated Ada Lovelace Day (which has been mid-October, although events run throughout the month, depending on the host institution). In 2015, there were only 2 such events in Canada, that we knew about. There’s definitely room for many more Ada Lovelace Day celebrations in 2016.


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