Queer in STEM Ask Me Anything!

Continuing the Pride month series, a short announcement – I’m doing a “Queer in STEM” AMA (Ask Me Anything). If you have questions, queries, quandaries, conundrums or dilemmas around the topic of being an out gay/queer scientist, or just being gay/queer I will have a go at providing an answer. You can submit your question using this (anonymous) Google form, in the comments below, or by email (thelabandfield@gmail.com). The only data collected on the form…

Continue reading


Essential Pride month reading and viewing for straight friends & colleagues

For this next in a series of Pride month posts, I’ll touch on a subject that I have often found frustrating, not only in terms of queerness, but many other complex ideas — how to quickly get a large volume of information, and convey the significance of that information, to someone new in a short time. In the context of this post, what would I like to instantly convey to straight colleagues so they could…

Continue reading


A collaborative effort to celebrate Pride month: the LGBTQ+ Rights Bot

There are many topics that I often find myself explaining to my straight colleagues. Mostly it’s out of their desire to know more, or better understand my experiences as an out gay scientist. But in the 13 years or so since I’ve come out (and in fact for several years before then, too) the one thing that I’ve consistently had the most reactions of surprise from straight colleagues is that there are places in the…

Continue reading


My journey

It’s Pride month, and this year there are some fantastic initiatives around like 500 Queer Scientists, and the International Day of LGBTQ+ People in STEM. Rainbow crosswalks are no longer relegated to the likes of Sydney, San Francisco, or London. Equal marriage is now the law in >25 countries. And yet challenges still remain. Five years ago, I wrote the first LGBTQ+-themed post here on The Lab and Field, which was my attempt to articulate to…

Continue reading


Why is engaging with ecological & organismal professional societies on LGBTQ+ diversity so hard?

It’s Pride month, which seems like as good a time as any to pose this puzzler that has been cartwheeling around my brain for the better part of a year now: why is it so difficult to get ecological or organismal professional societies to engage on LGBTQ+ diversity? And why is it when they do, they often muck it up? For the last 3 years, I’ve been going to/organizing/hosting/thoroughly enjoying the LGBTQ+ STEMinar, a day-long…

Continue reading


MENSERC continues: men still dominate NSERC’s prestigious prizes

NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) is Canada’s funding council for, well, natural sciences and engineering. And each year they recognize the crème de la crème of Canadian scientific & engineering research. Sort of. It really helps to be a guy. I first got riled up about this issue in 2013 (which, shockingly, is 5 years ago), at a time when no woman had ever been awarded the Herzberg Medal, colloquially known as…

Continue reading


Queering one’s science (and more languishing ideas)

Last week I had a fantastic chat with the Queer Science discussion group based at Memorial University of Newfoundland, which is also where I happened to do my PhD. One of the perennial questions when I talk about being an out scientist is how the LGBTQ+ side influences the science side, and vice versa. As someone not particularly versed in sociology, queer theory, or feminist studies, I lack the terminology and background to put my…

Continue reading


Prioritizing the flood of ideas

If you’ve been involved in research for more than a couple of years, chances are you quite quickly start to accumulate a list, even if only in your mind, of Things It Would Be Neat To Do. These could be things that you identify as gaps while pursuing your main research theme, or ideas that spark out of a paper you happened to leaf through while waiting for a meeting to start. And typically starting…

Continue reading


2018 goals

I’ve already done 2017 by the numbers, and inspired by Auriel Fournier, here are some goals for 2018, in no particular order…   Get two long-languishing papers submitted. One is from my postdoc (and formed a pretty bit part of it), and the other is a long-standing collaboration that just needs some dedicated attention. I’m reminded of this lovely cartoon. Kick-start my own research again. This may sound silly, but when I worked for the…

Continue reading


2017 by the numbers

Read previous years’ By the Numbers: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013   12 The number of new posts this year. Definitely a low, but some classics remain popular. The top 10: Personal academic websites for faculty & grad students: the why, what, and how How did we learn that birds migrate (and not to the moon)? A stab in the dark Beware the academic hipster (or, use what works for you) UPDATED Volunteer field techs are…

Continue reading