Queer and intersectional identities are revolutionizing how science gets done. Celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ women and gender minorities of color working in STEMM in a new exhibit at the Academy.

For most of human history, science has been a world of walls. Race, gender, wealth, and more have long defined not just who’s welcome in science, but who’s allowed to be present at all.

Today, queer representation in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine) continues to lag behind societal progress, especially where the identities of women and gender minorities intersect with Black, Indigenous, and other person-of-color identities. Yet it’s this community that’s driving a sea-change within science: a shift away from gate-keeping and conformity, and toward valuing identity as a driver of insight and discovery.

The people you'll meet in New Science represent a range of backgrounds, career stages, and areas of work, but they share this: Each has hit old walls and made an entirely new kind of door, pulling others through with them. On the other side? A world that’s inclusive instead of exclusive, diverse instead of uniform, and powered by the communities we hold. A better place, in other words, for science itself.

This project was made possible in part by an IF/THEN® Gender Equity Grant Moonshot Award (funded by Lyda Hill Philanthropies) to increase the visual representation of women and gender minorities in STEMM across museum content.

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Meet the scientists

Peruse our New Science Profiles page for first-person narratives and video testimonials from 23 LGBTQ+ scientists representing a broad spectrum of STEMM fields.

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Queer in STEMM: By the numbers

Growing evidence suggests that LGBTQ+ people in STEMM are statistically underrepresented, encounter non-supportive environments, and leave STEMM at an alarming rate. Studies and surveys have found:

  • 11%-28% of sexual minorities have reported losing a promotion due to their sexual orientation, and 27% of transgender individuals reported being fired, denied promotion, or not hired due to their gender identity1
  • More than 22% of LGBTQ+ workers face pay and promotion disparities, which are highest for LGBTQ+ people of color and sexual-minority women2
  • 25% of LGBTQ+ people reported discriminatory behaviors in the workplace that adversely affected both work environment and psychological well-being1
  • LGBTQ+ people are 17-21% less represented in STEMM fields than expected based on their prevalence in the US population3
  • More than 40% of LGBTQ+ workers in STEMM feel unable to be open about their LGBTQ+ identity with colleagues4

 

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500 Queer Scientists rainbow logo

500 Queer Scientists

Founded by the Academy’s Curator of Arachnology, Dr. Lauren Esposito, 500 Queer Scientists is a visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people and their allies working in STEMM and STEMM-supporting jobs. Have a story to share? Contributions welcome.

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Celebrate Pride at NightSchool!

Watch a recording of our June NightSchool livestream event featuring scientists whose queer perspectives are driving new science.

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Hours & location

New Science is open daily during regular Academy hours. Find it on the Main Floor across from the rainforest entrance.