Windsor

First-of-its-kind conference celebrates LGBT in STEM

The LGBTQ+ in STEM Conference aims to bring together researchers in all STEM fields to celebrate the contributions of the LGBT community. 

'We want to help solve those problem,' says conference co-chair

Professors James Gauld and Tricia Carmichael have organized the first LGBTQ+ in STEM Conference in Canada. (University of Windsor)

A first-of-its-kind conference kicks off at the University of Windsor this weekend. 

The LGBTQ+ in STEM Conference aims to bring together researchers in all STEM fields to celebrate the contributions of the LGBT community. 

"Science and technology has a reputation that's pretty well justified in that it's not very diverse," said conference co-chair Tricia Carmichael. "Historically, groups who have been shut out of these fields include women, people of colour and the LGBTQ community."

Carmichael, a professor in the sciences at the university, said they planned the conference to better explore how to engage the LGBT community.

"We wanted to focus on how we can better support that community," said Carmichael. "How can that community be part of science?"

Carmichael, who graduated from the University of Windsor in 1996 before joining the faculty in the mid-2000s, said science has "missed out" by potentially excluding the LGBT community.

"What science has missed out on is a lot of contributions from people who really turned away from these fields because they felt that they were not welcoming," said Carmichael. "We want to help solve those problems."

According to Carmichael, the conference co-chair James Gauld has a personal connection.

"He has deep personal experience with trying to exist in this field as a gay man," said Carmichael. "So we said 'Let's make this the first time that this happens in Canada.'"

Speakers for the conference come from multiple provinces and institutions.

Listen to the full interview on Windsor Morning:

It's being billed as a first of its kind event in Canada.The University of Windsor is hosting an LGBT STEM conference starting today.STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Tony speaks with Tricia Carmichael,one of the organizers. 5:07

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