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Published on Jan 7, 2019
Only 17% of the English-language biographies on Wikipedia are about women – but the statistic won’t stay that low for long if Dr Jess Wade has her way. A passionate advocate for diversity in science, Jess balances her work as an award-winning physicist at Imperial College London with her role as a ‘Wikipedian’, creating and uploading the biographies of scientists who are women, people of colour and part of the LGBTQI+ community - ones for each day of 2018. In conversation with journalist Anjana Ahuja, Jess explains why the only way to create more diversity in science is for people in positions of power to lend their active support. She addresses the need to help young girls to see past social stereotypes, how she dismisses the online trolls who try to discourage her and names some of the women in science who inspire her personally. Jess is a scientist with an enthusiasm for improving diversity in science. Jess won the Institute of Physics (IOP) Early Career Communicator Prize (2015), “I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here!” (2015), the IOP Jocelyn Bell Burnell Award (2016), the Institution of Materials, Mineral and Mining's 'Robert Perrin Award' (2017), the Imperial College Dame Julia Higgins Certificate (2017) and the IOP Daphne Jackson Medal and Prize (2018). Jess sits on the committees of the IOP’s Women in Physics Group, Physics Communicators Group and London & South East Branch. She is on the Council of the Women’s Engineering Society and Women in Science & Engineering Young Women’s Board. Jess researches organic light emitting diodes that emit circularly polarised light. She is interviewed by Anjana Ahuja, a Contributing Writer on science for the Financial Times and other media outlets. Anjana is best known for her columns on topics such as genetics, AI and space exploration. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx