31 July, 2013

Last call!

This is our final call for responses to the questionnaire, which closes at midnight tonight, U.S. Central Time. As of right now, we have 1,462 completed responses—can we get to 1,500 by the end of the day?

24 July, 2013

Closing time—next week

It's going on three months since we launched our online questionnaire, and over that time more than 1,300 participants have told us about their work in STEM, the communities where they live, and how their identities interact with both. We've also had fantastic responses to follow-up questions, both by e-mail and in one-on-one interviews, and we're grateful to everyone who has participated.

So we're going to close the questionnaire at the end of this month. After midnight (U.S. Central time) next Wednesday, 31 July, we'll no longer take new responses on the questionnaire. We expect to be getting the last of the e-mail responses, and wrapping up the personal interviews, about the same time.

Once we're officially done with data collection, we'll be able to start digging into everything participants have told us about their lives and work. We're hoping to start reporting results from the online questionnaire right here on the website, and we'll also add to the list of existing scholarly literature we've used to provide context for this study. We are beginning qualitative analysis of the e-mail responses, and thanks to generous funding from our friends at NOGLSTP, we'll be able to begin transcription and analysis of the personal interviews very soon as well.

So, if you haven't yet taken the survey, or you've been putting off e-mailing it to some friends or colleagues—now is the time!

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.