08 July, 2013

Helping to change the climate in academic science

We've just seen that, over at Inside Higher Ed, Elizabeth Simmons and Ramón Barthelemy (who are both boardmembers at LGBTIQQAP+ Physicists) had some worthwhile things to say about making academic science more queer-friendly a couple weeks ago:

When scientists talk about issues related to diversity or broadening participation in their disciplines, the focus is typically on supporting women, persons of color, or first-generation college students. However, scientists who identify as part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community are also a minority within the scientific community and may, likewise, find themselves marginalized. Moreover, scientists who would like to make their disciplines more welcoming to LGBT colleagues may be uncertain about how to do so.

Simmons and Barthelemy link to a best practices guide [PDF], and distill out a few key areas for faculty and administrators looking to make a college or department or campus—or, indeed, any workplace—more welcoming. One of the outcomes we've been hoping to develop from our own study—especially now that we're in the thick of one-on-one interviews with study participants, is to put together a clear-cut list of recommendations for campus policy and community training that caters to scientific fields—it's good to see other folks are already thinking about exactly that.