Queers in Science celebrates LGBTQIA+ STEMM Day symposium


LGBTQIA+ STEMM Day queers in science
Image: QueersinScience Twittter

Today, Queers in Science holds its annual symposium for LGBTQIA+ people who work in the field of STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine). Queers in Science tweeted earlier today that LGBTQIA+ STEMM Day celebrates the wonderful work our queer community does to make the world a better place.

Queers in Science aims to showcase the contributions of LGBTQIA+ people to research in order to challenge the cis-heteronormative stereotype of STEMM.

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Research indicates shows that queer people still struggle to be their authentic selves in their workplaces. In the US, one in three physicists report pressure to stay in the closet in order to further their careers.

STEMM already suffers from lower retention rates. However, queer students are more likely to withdraw from University than their heterosexual and cisgender classmates. That is additional to members of our communities being already less likely to follow an academic path because of prejudice and discrimination.

Queers in Science aims firstly to increase the visibility of LGBTQIA+ professionals in STEMM. They also wish to see better policies, management guidance, and career resources tailored to the needs of LGBTQIA+ employees.

But, there is good news.

According to Queers in Science, out LGBTQIA+ employees are 50% more likely to be innovative. They are also 35% more likely to work highly effectively in teams. Both innovation and effective teamwork are critical skills in research.

LGBTQIA+ STEMM Day

The UK’s Pride in STEM initiated the annual celebration.  First held in July, they later moved the day to 18 November. That date honours the anniversary of gay activist Frank Kameny’s US Supreme Court fight against workplace discrimination. In 1957, the US Army dismissed Frank Kameny from his position as an astronomer because he was gay. Although unsuccessful, his was the first known US civil rights claim based on sexual orientation.

Check out below just a few of the amazing members of our communities who work in STEMM in Australia.

Professor Ben Burton

Dr Prok Vasilyev

Professor Céline Bœhm

Professor Christopher Lawrence


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