A Wikipedia Editathon to Popularize Science in Brazil

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At the beginning of the first week of August, the auditorium of the Health History Documentation Center at the Manguinhos campus of FIOCRUZ – Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, hosted the Wikipedia Editathon on Oswaldo Cruz: Science, Health, and Culture. This initiative is the result of an important partnership between the Wiki Movimento Brasil (WMB) and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz). Focused on students and staff of the Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, the event brought together participants on an enriching journey of free and collaborative knowledge.

Amanda Jurno, the Manager of Education and Scientific Dissemination at WMB, emphasized the significance of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects as powerful allies in scientific dissemination. “Wikipedia, along with the other Wikimedia projects, acts as a potent ally in scientific dissemination, enabling the free and wide circulation of content produced within universities and scientific institutions,” explains Amanda. She highlighted that when content produced by institutions is placed within a wiki environment, it gains a much greater potential for social transformation due to the expansive reach that these projects possess. For example, through Wikipedia, institutions can access a broader audience and generate impact by sharing knowledge, thereby strengthening the culture of open science. “This content, once integrated into a wiki environment, holds immense potential for social transformation due to the far-reaching impact of these projects. Through Wikipedia, institutions can reach a broader audience, generating impact by sharing knowledge and fostering the culture of open science,” emphasized Amanda.

According to Diego Vaz Bevilaqua, Vice-Director of Cultural Heritage and Scientific Dissemination at the Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, this partnership is of utmost importance to both institutions. He stated that Wiki Movimento Brasil aims to strengthen its ties with the academic field, expanding the number of entries and enriching the diversity of information available on Wikimedia platforms. During the editathon, participants had the opportunity to grasp basic editing concepts on Wikipedia and apply them to entries concerning the life and work of Oswaldo Cruz. The Casa de Oswaldo Cruz significantly contributed to the dissemination of its collections during the event, presenting objects and archival images to a much wider audience.

Among the topics that saw improvements, noteworthy ones include: Mourisco Pavilion, Tropical Disease, Vaccine Revolt, and Oswaldo Cruz. Furthermore, new entries were created, such as: National Department of Public Health, Historical Architectural Core of Manguinhos, and Oswaldo Cruz’s Birthplace. In this manner, the institution fortified its mission of scientific dissemination, fulfilling its role in transforming human knowledge into accessible information for a significant number of individuals. The event marks a significant stride towards democratizing access to knowledge, empowering students and collaborators of the Casa de Oswaldo Cruz to contribute to the creation and dissemination of pertinent content related to the history of health. Collaborative editing on Wikipedia facilitated the appreciation of scientific and cultural heritage, providing a platform for disseminating reliable and publicly relevant information.

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