University Challenge recognises Wikipedia


The photo shows Jeremy Paxman, host of University Challenge
Jeremy Paxman, host of University Challenge

In what feels like something of a landmark, iconic UK quiz show University Challenge hosted by journalist and former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman this week featured a bonus round of questions about Wikipedia editors. UK readers can watch the clip on BBC iPlayer here for the next few days. The whole show is good, but the section in question begins around 5m45 in to the clip.

For Wikipedia to be featured in such a prestigious television show with a core audience of people in higher education is a great acknowledgement of the growing credibility that Wikipedia holds. But how would you fare against the students of Jesus College, Oxford University who faced the questions?

1. In 2012, the philosophy graduate Justin Knapp became the first person to be credited with 1,000,000 Wikipedia edits. He’s especially noted for his work on the bibliography page of which English novelist born in Bengal in 1903?

2. Secondly, what institutions associated with a beverage, and with for instance the Chinese city of Chengdu, give their name to the help space which is, quote: “A friendly place to help new editors become accustomed to Wikipedia culture”?

3. In an interview in 2014, the Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales stated that he “used to edit a lot of entries” about which specific UK political body often symbolised by a red portcullis?

The answers are below, but if you correctly answered any of the questions then you did better than the students, who got each one wrong. A sign that there is still some way to go, perhaps!

(Answers: 1. George Orwell. 2. Teahouse. 3. The House of Lords.)