LGBT+ Physical Sciences Network members were surprised with news of a new inclusivity research grant scheme during an LGBT+ STEM Day workshop.
Around 80 participants came together online and in person at Burlington House on 18 November for the celebration. At what was the network’s first meeting since before the COVID pandemic, attendees shared their experiences, debated community priorities, and discussed the changing inclusion landscape.
Co-organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Institute of Physics (IOP) and Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the celebration was opened by Professor Tom Welton, past President of the RSC. A number of presentations and contributions from LGBT+ scientists, as well as a workshop discussion session, soon followed during what was a productive workshop.
The event came after the annual Pride in STEM conference, which also took place in Burlington House earlier that day, supported by the RSC and the IOP.
Dr Clara Barker, who is the Daphne Jackson Fellow in the Department of Materials at the Centre for Applied Superconductivity at the University of Oxford, was one of those instrumental in organising the community workshop. A past Chair of the University of Oxford LGBT+ Advisory Group, she said she saw these events as crucial in guiding the network for the coming years.
"The main thing is touching base with the community and finding out what members want and learning more about their priorities,” Dr Barker said.
“We want to make sure the network is still relevant to the community and make sure we are up to date and that any future actions are still relevant to the membership. The event was also intended to be a celebration of what we have achieved in the past few years.”