Scientific QUEERies

Launched in September of 2020 to increase the visibility of LGBTQ2S+ researchers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Scientific QUEERies is a unique and wonderful seminar series that you should take the time to check out. The series highlights the work and experience of academics from the queer community, and has covered topics spanning the diversity of STEM research.

Scientific QUEERies was created by Kyle Shanebeck and Scott Cocker, who are completing their PhD research in the Departments of Biological Sciences, and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, respectively, at the University of Alberta. To date they have co-hosted 12 talks with researchers from across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, with 4 talks still to come before the end of May. The series has been wide reaching as well, with audience members including undergraduate and graduate students, post doctoral fellows, staff, faculty, administration, and industry folks from across North America and beyond.

Earlier this year I had the honour to speak as part of the series. My talk was titled Fear & Loathing In STEM: A Journey Towards Diversity, Inclusivity, and Self-Acceptance, and in it I described my experiences coming to terms with my sexuality, and how this journey has affected and continues to affect my experiences in STEM. It was the first time that I’ve explicitly talked about my experiences as a gay man in and out of STEM while also talking about the research I do. If you are interested, I’ve included the slide deck below. You can also watch the full presentation (including the question and answer period) here.

The next seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13th at 1 pm MDT (3 pm EDT), and will feature Dr. Jessica L. Ware, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology from the American Museum of Natural History. Check out the poster below for information on upcoming talks (and a quick list of previous talks). If you’d like to listen to one of the upcoming presentations, email Kyle & Scott here. And be sure to follow the Scientific QUEERies Twitter account for announcements and reminders.

I’d like to thank Scott and Kyle for pulling together this seminar series (and for including me in it), and for their continued hard work making it inclusive and accessible. They’ve created a wonderful space for queer scientists and allies to come together to celebrate science and the power of diversity, and to provide representation that is often lacking in STEM.

Upcoming Scientific QUEERies presentations will be held April 13 (Dr. Jessica L. Ware – she/her – Evolutionary Biology & Entomology), April 29 (Dr. Christian Baron – he/him – Biochemistry & microbiology), May 11 (Dr. James Gauld – he/him – Computational enzymology), and May 27 (Dr. Renée Hlozek – she/her – Astrophysics) at 1 pm MDT.

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