Research proves that diversity of training, disciplines, and even lived experience is crucial to innovation. University of Southern California recently opened the Michelson Center to break researchers out of their academic silos by sharing lab and office spaces. For the same reason, we support LGBTQ+ people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), who continue to struggle to openly be themselves. July 5th will be #LGBTSTEMDay, the first international day of LGBTQ+ people in STEM.
The organizers of #LGBTSTEMDay report that more than 40 percent of LGBTQ people in STEM are not out (see: 2013 Queer in STEM survey, 2014 Factors Impacting The Academic Climate). Additional statistics offered by the organization show alarming statistics: half of transgender or gender non-conforming physicists were harrassed in academia (2015 American Physical Society survey). Gay and bisexual students are less likely to follow an academic career (2018 Coming out in STEM: Factors affecting retention of sexual minority STEM students).
“Solving these problems, requires nothing short of a revolution in how we do science, talk about science, and how we expect science to be. We need inclusive and intersectional changes. To solve the many diverse challenges humanity is facing in the twenty-first century we cannot afford losing people from minority backgrounds,” said Dr. Alfredo Carpineti, Chair and Founder of Pride in STEM, a British charitable trust, and one of the primary organizers of the initiative.
The other co-organisers are House of STEM, a network of LGBTQ+ people working in STEM in Ireland, InterEngineering, an organisation for LGBT inclusion in Engineering and Out in STEM, a U.S. society educating and fostering leadership for LGBTQA people in the STEM fields. Given the fact that most STEM research is also global, support across nations is especially vital.
Published on July 3rd, 2018
Last updated on July 3rd, 2018