"A group that collectively represents a powerful force of scientific progress and discovery." (500 Queer Scientists)
Bringing Visibility to LGBTQ+ People Working in STEM
The lack of diversity in STEM fields has inspired the founding of many programs, projects, and organizations that hope to magnify both awareness and numbers of those with different perspectives and lived experiences in STEM professions. One important new group that has emerged is 500 Queer Scientists, a group inspired by co-founder Lauren Esposito’s experience working with 500 Women Scientists, another orgnization that aims to promote diversity in STEM. Esposito and fellow founder Sean Edgerton often felt isolated as queer members of the scientific community, and hoped that in founding this organization, they could create more space and visibility for other queer people.
Sharing Stories to Remind Others They’re Not Alone
The goals of 500 Queer Scientists include providing role models, reminding people that they are not alone, and creating opportunities for connection within the LGBTQ+ community. One way the organization is doing this is by collecting and displaying bios of different queer scientists, researchers, mathematicians, engineers, and others working in STEM on their website. This visual compilation is a reminder of the number of professionals who are queer, and the variety of work they do for the larger STEM community.
While 500 Queer Scientists initially emerged as a visibility campaign geared towards highlighting the work of LGBTQ+ people and their allies in STEM fields, it is hoping to expand based on the interests and needs of the community. Particularly in the wake of discrimination, exclusion, and harassment, 500 Queer Scientists’ ability to raise awareness, develop a supportive community, and foster pride in queer identity is of great importance not just to queer scientists, but to individuals of all sexual orientations in STEM fields.Image: via Pixabay