Home Physics Wikipedia Dispatches: LGBT Physicists and Astronomers

Wikipedia Dispatches: LGBT Physicists and Astronomers

Wikipedia Dispatches: LGBT Physicists and Astronomers


A hypothetical illustration of Wikipedia in print as of January 2020. 2657 volumes, 14 stacks. The present depend as of this writing is 3278 volumes and 17 stacks (June 16, 2023). Credit score: Wikipedia consumer The_Anome


When searching for info on underrepresented individuals in any discipline, it’s oftentimes difficult to seek out individuals. This is because of numerous elements; in lots of instances, marginalized individuals could be reticent to debate the subject of id and private life exterior of labor. It may be very helpful, and certainly important, to know of people that belong to underrepresented teams within the historical past of physics: for learning traits and understanding how a discipline works and methods to make it extra engaging and a welcoming atmosphere for everybody, for making connections with individuals nonetheless alive, and for having position fashions. 

The Niels Bohr Library & Archives (NBLA) has been fairly energetic on Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia and the seventh most visited web site on the earth, recently – try our venture web page! Due primarily to the success and endeavors of our phenomenal former Wikipedian-in-Residence, Camryn Bell, our Wikipedia contributions have exploded within the final yr (try our different Wikipedia-related weblog articles to see extra of her work), and we just lately hosted an Edit-a-thon, led by our fantastic SPS Intern MJ Keller (weblog submit on this right here!). Persevering with this pattern, we at NBLA created the class pages LGBT physicists and LGBT astronomers, which didn’t beforehand exist on Wikipedia*.

We’d like your assist so as to add articles to those classes! We’ve been including physicists and astronomers who self-identify in these classes:

LGBT physicists

LGBT astronomers

Please be a part of us on this effort! Enhancing Wikipedia is free and straightforward and it’s one thing everybody can do. You possibly can even edit with out creating an account, although it may be enjoyable to take action (hyperlink to account creation web page). If you happen to need assistance enhancing Wikipedia for the primary time, try the Wikipedia editor introduction web page, and you’ll ask us for assist by emailing [email protected]

Listed here are some fundamental directions for including classes to an article in Visible Editor mode:

  • Log in to Wikipedia (optionally available)
  • Discover article in query (ex. Sally Experience)
  • Hit “Edit” on the highest proper facet of the article
  • Scroll all the best way to the underside to the Classes field
  • Click on on the Classes field
  • Sort within the class identify (capitalization issues!) – LGBT physicists or LGBT astronomers
  • Hit Apply adjustments
  • Scroll to the highest and choose “Publish”


Listed here are a couple of individuals I realized about from Wikipedia as a result of this initiative!

Omer Blaes. From Wikipedia: “His analysis focuses on theoretical astrophysics (X- and gamma-ray astronomy) and compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes). A lot of his work in astrophysics focuses on the physics of accretion on black holes. He has checked out magneto rotational instability (MRI) and MRI turbulence within the innermost elements of accretion disks.” 

Picture caption: Portrait of Omer Blaes, courtesy https://500queerscientists.com/omer-blaes


Nergis Mavalvala. From Wikipedia: “Mavalvala has labored on the event of unique quantum states of sunshine, and particularly the era of sunshine in squeezed coherent states. By injecting such states into the kilometer-scale Michelson interferometer of the LIGO detectors, her group drastically improved the sensitivity of the detector by lowering quantum noise; such squeezed states even have many different functions in experimental physics.” NBLA holds an oral historical past interview with Mavalvala; discover it right here.

Picture caption:  Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala in an MIT lab, 2010. Credit score: Picture by Darren McCollester/for MacArthur Basis


Rebecca Oppenheimer. From Wikipedia: “She holds three patents, is the co-discoverer of the primary brown dwarf, Gliese 229B, and is energetic in analysis on exoplanets. She has led or co-led many novel instrumentation initiatives, together with the Lyot Mission, Mission 1640, the Gemini Planet Imager, Palomar Adaptive Optics, and the Palomar Superior Radial Velocity Instrument.”

Picture caption: Rebecca Oppenheimer, courtesy https://analysis.amnh.org/customers/bro/


Clyde Wahrhaftig. From Wikipedia: “Wahrhaftig was a devoted consumer of public transportation, partially motivated by his concern concerning the atmosphere affect of fossil fuels. He eschewed cars and airplanes and routinely traveled by sea to his discipline work in Alaska. He continued to make use of horse-pack trains whereas working within the discipline for so long as the USGS permitted it. His assist of public transportation additionally helped him fulfill his dedication to creating geology accessible to the general public by writing discipline guides that may very well be understood by laymen and didn’t require lengthy journeys by automotive to see the related websites. A few of his hottest discipline guides embody Streetcar to Subduction and Different Plate Tectonic Journeys by Public Transport in San Francisco, A Walker’s Information to the Geology of San Francisco, and The Hayward Fault in Hayward and Fremont, through BART.”

Picture caption: Clyde Wahrhaftig. Credit score: Scott Sine, NPS

* When creating these new class pages, we adopted Wikipedia’s pointers on categorization. For extra info, see Wikipedia’s Class names web page and Categorization/sexuality web page:



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