LGBT+ people in STEM continue to struggle to openly be themselves. Research has revealed that one third of out US physicists have been told to stay in the closet to continue their career, half of trans or gender non-conforming physicists were harassed in academia and gay and bisexual students are less likely to follow an academic career.
To combat this, House of STEM, a network of LGBT+ people working in STEM in Ireland, has teamed up with three other international groups; Pride in STEM, InterEngineering, and Out in STEM, to organise the first international LGBTSTEMDay.
“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.
When the project was announced in March, it quickly spread throughout the scientific and LGBTSTEM community. People and organisations such as Science Gallery, Ecsite, and the CERN LGBT group, immediately pledged their support. There are currently 30 events happening across three continents.
Dr Shaun O’Boyle, founder of House of STEM, added: “This support truly gives you hope. We formed our network last year to bring together a community of LGBT+ scientists in Ireland. And now we are building an incredible international family of groups and organisations. LGBTSTEMDay is an exciting opportunity to bring that family together, in a truly global push towards improving the visibility and representation of LGBT+ people”.
Dr. Carpineti stated “LGBTSTEMDay won’t fix all the issues, but it will shine a big light on them. We are sure it will start conversations, and that’s so important. Ignorance kills. It is time to stop pretending that the STEM disciplines are not influenced by politics and social changes. Some science might be done in a physical vacuum, but no science is done in an historical one.”
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