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Royal Society appoints Wikimedian in Residence


John Byrne at a Royal Society event in October 2013

Wikimedia UK is pleased to announce that John Byrne (User:Johnbod) has been appointed Wikimedian in Residence at The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science.

The residency will begin in January 2014 and run for six months, on the basis of working one day per week. Wikimedia UK is providing the core funding for the project.

It is a pilot exercise, aiming to learn the best way for Wikimedia and the Royal Society to collaborate in future. The main intended outcomes are: improving access to information about scientists from underrepresented groups, opening up the Society’s historical collections, and improving the quality of scientific articles on the Wikimedia projects.

John is an experienced Wikipedian who was named as Wikimedia UK’s first UK Wikimedian of the Year in 2012, and previously served as a trustee of the charity. He has extensive content experience, including many Featured Articles. John said:

“I’ve already been planning an exciting programme with Royal Society staff, including plenty of events. Some of these will be aimed at Royal Society staff while others are intended to meet the needs of scientists and the general public.

“Following our very successful training and editathon on women scientists in, held at the Royal Society in October in conjunction with the Medical Research Council, we plan a similar event in early March, around International Women’s Day.

“The Royal Society Library and archives have wonderful resources, with a good deal already online, and I’ll also be looking at what we can achieve with these.”

John is also hoping to make the beginnings of a deeper involvement between the scientific community generally and the Wikimedia projects, providing feedback from the scientific community on our content.

John says: “I will be using the alternative account User:Wiki at Royal Society John for edits in this role.  I am keen to hear other ideas from anyone on what might be done in this role.  Please leave your thoughts on my talk page”.

More information from the Royal Society

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