Celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2019 at the University of Toronto

Science Twitter brings connections near and far. One local young scientist, whom I met through Twitter, who continues to impress me, is #SciComm-er extraordinaire, University of Toronto doctoral student Ms. Farah Qaiser.

Last Fall, Farah kindly invited me to be the guest speaker at Gerstein Library's Wikipedia Editathon in celebration of February's International Day of Women and Girls in Science. University of Toronto is one of my almer maters, so it's always nice to visit, and it was a real honour to do so in this capacity.

I spoke about one of my sabbatical research projects. Together with my collaborator, York University History Professor, Dr. Kate McPherson, I investigated the history of women in Botany and Horticulture in Ontario, from 1870-1920. We documented the botanical and horticultural work of women, and the ways in which some of them created spaces for their voices, despite being excluded from professional, paid work, like being a science professor. What's more, their botanical contributions were known about at the time, but, later on, were often written out of history! This means that Wikipedia Editathons aimed at raising awareness of Women in STEM, often perform the task of inserting women back into the historical record.

I am still trying to finish the chapter footnotes, and this is May 2019 (which makes this my March 1st 2019 Catch-Up Post). My talk slides are below:

A huge thank you to Farah, the wonderful librarians and students that I met. Below, left to right, is Alex, University of Toronto's first Wikipedian-in-Residence. Then, doctoral student and Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity advocate, Krishana. Two amazing U of T librarians, Heather and Guita are next to her, with Farah, to my left. In front, is science communicator, Ive, convenor of Toronto's 500 Women Scientists Pod.