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Women in Astronomy

On LGBTQ Visibility at Colloquia

14 Dec 2015, 18:39 UTC
On LGBTQ Visibility at Colloquia
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Today's guest post is by Dr. Jane Rigby. Jane Rigby is an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, a contributor to Astrobetter, and a member of the AAS’s Committee for Sexual-Orientation & Gender Minorities in Astronomy (SGMA)).You know the experiment where you give first graders crayons and ask them to draw a scientist. They draw white men with beards. Given that, if we want to make STEM more inclusive, we need to change the “scientist” cartoon in peoples’ minds. On average and generalizing, my female colleagues give more public talks than my male colleagues. In part, I think this is a conscious effort on their part to make female scientists more visible to the public.A while back, my colleague Jason Wright (at my Alma Mater, Penn State) asked me a question about visibility for LGBTQ speakers in particular, and I responded. We did not come to any conclusions, so here we hope to start a broader conversation on the topic here that could inform LGBTQ colloquium speakers and their hosts. One reason that I'm trying to connect better with these groups is that we try hard to get a diverse set of speakers at our colloquia and seminars, but one ...

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