Donna Strickland was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics, making her the third woman ever to win this prestigious honor in its 117-year history. “Someone from the Nobel Prize thinks that it is the first time someone got it for their first paper ever,” said Dr. Stickland. As a young “laser jock” doctoral student, Strickland worked with her PhD supervisor in the 1980’s to invent chirped laser amplification: a state of the art technique for the highest powered lasers.

Now, Dr. Strickland is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo, which is not as prestigious or well paid as a full professor. She never applied for the full position, but she was also never encouraged to apply. The system is biased toward men. Men are published more because they are sponsored by other men, and the female applicants are more scrutinized.   

Can you believe that this heroic inventor did not have a Wikipedia page until twelve hours after she was awarded a Nobel Prize? However, her professor that worked with her on this and co-winner, has had a Wikipedia page for over ten years. Women are not given the same credit as men and we must stand by women. We have to be the people to publish Wikipedia articles about extraordinary women before they are recognized by the public. 500 Women Scientists hosts Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons to put the names of lesser known women scientists into the world through updating and adding entries to Wikipedia. You can host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon yourself. Here’s how: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:How_to_run_an_edit-a-thon

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