The National Science Foundation (NSF) is spending over $200,000 to find out why Wikipedia is sexist.
The government has awarded two grants for collaborative research to professors at Yale University and New York University to study what the researchers describe as “systematic gender bias” in the online encyclopedia.
“Wikipedia was launched in 2001 and has since become the world’s single most important reference tool and information clearinghouse,” the grant states. “Unlike traditional encyclopedias, which are controlled by experts, Wikipedia was supposed to have democratized knowledge.”
“Yet an emerging body of research indicates that Wikipedia suffers from systematic gender bias with respect to both contributors and content,” it continues. “How and why is this bias produced?”
A $132,000 grant was awarded to Julia Adams, a sociology professor at Yale, followed by $70,000 to Hannah Brueckner, the associate dean of social sciences at NYU Abu Dhabi.