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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

National Science Week highlights LGBTIQA+ in STEM

Members of the LGBTIQA+ community have been making waves in STEM fields for several years, and a National Science Week event is looking to highlight their contributions.

Local podcast, Queer STEM History hosted by Len Gordon, aims to share stories of queer scientists throughout history and will be recording a live podcast as part of National Science Week, 15-23 August.

Working alongside Canberra community organisation A Gender Agenda (AGA), a local panel of intersex, trans and gender diverse people who work or study in STEM fields will be highlighted.

AGA events coordinator, Jesse Townrow, said the organisation was excited to take part in this year’s calendar of events.

“We were really excited the National Science Week committee reached out to us and to include specifically LGBTIQA+ organisations in this year’s program,” he said.

“I think it’s super important we have this opportunity to reach out through our networks to uplift the voices of LGBTIQA+ people in STEM.

“It can sometimes be a bit of an exclusive voice, a bit male dominated and not always highlighting all the diverse voices it has to offer.”

The live recording will take place on Zoom, and will allow attendees to submit questions to the panel while they tune in.

Those who wish to tune in live are asked to register online, and a script and recording will also be made available following the event.

Mr Townrow said showing an array of diverse local panellists would be powerful in creating role models for the LGBTIQA+ community within the STEM field.

“Being able to highlight a local panel of people with careers and interests in STEM could go a really long way to promote queer people in stem and as a welcoming, inclusive field,” he said.

“Sometimes STEM is thought of as a straightforward organisation and, through talking to Len, there is so much more to the field than people think.

“There is so much room for creativity and that is really attractive to our community and hopefully it will encourage people who might not feel comfortable or safe to know there are other people who have been there and have had a great fulfilling life in STEM.”

The recording will take place on Tuesday 25 August 6-7.30pm and panellists are set to be announced toward the end of this week. For more information on Shirty Science Season Home or National Science Week events, visit www.scienceweek.net.au

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