W22.Writing for an Audience of Millions: Wikipedia and Neuroscience.
Monday, Oct 19, 2009, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wikipedia -- an online encyclopedia written entirely by volunteers -- is a powerful tool for educating the public, prospective students, and even other scientists. Wikipedia is usually the top result of Google searches for neuroscience terms, and millions of readers each year turn to Wikipedia articles such as "Brain" and "Action potential" for information about neuroscience. However, its unwritten rules and ad hoc editorial review may create a barrier to entry for academic authors used to working in a more controlled environment. Learning to meet these challenges allows scientists to harness Wikipedia's power for outreach and education. In this seminar, experienced scientists will clarify how Wikipedia works, why it is so important, and the mechanisms it has developed to create and maintain high-quality articles. They will show you "tricks of the trade" that will help you to write well-organized and beautifully illustrated Wikipedia articles that are accessible to the general reader. They will also introduce you to the communities of biologists and medical professionals who collaborate on Wikipedia.
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