This year has been a hugely success for oSTEM (out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)! We have doubled our membership, included more postgraduates as well as undergraduates, and we have held a huge range of events.
We have continued our weekly socials and introduced themed events for Valentine’s Day where we had pizza (vegan and gluten-free options included!) and Easter, which involved face paint, puzzles and an Easter egg hunt. Our socials act as an opportunity for students to relax and discuss issues relevant to being LGBTQ+ in STEM fields over hot drinks. We'll also be continuing our socials throughout the summer term for relaxation and important support through exams.
Our society has held a range of other events, from science and LGBT themed film nights, a trip to the ThinkTank Birmingham Science Museum, quizzes and visiting the annual LGBT STEMinar in Sheffield. This conference is designed for people who work or study in STEM subjects and identify as LGBT+ to showcase efforts in diverse fields and encourage collaborations between different departments, universities, companies and subjects.
We are also holding one of our recurring speaker events next term where experts come and talk about their own experiences. Past speakers have included: physics teacher Debbie Hatton; Phillippa Treharne-Jones who runs breast cancer trials and co-chaired the Rainbow Network at the University of Birmingham; Charlotte Robinson, the Co-Chair of InterEngineering; Sarah Glanvill, a materials PhD student at Birmingham; Aidan Randle-Conde, a founding member of LGBT CERN; Ruth Mills who spoke about her transition at university and in the workplace, and about her work at Connect Group and for TransCode; and David Swann who spoke about his experiences at Nationwide. We’re always on the lookout for new speakers so please let us know if you’d like to be involved.
Another success for the oSTEM committee was our Chair, Jade Sadler, and Secretary’s, Amy Cunningham, campaign for gender neutral toilets to be introduced at the University. This was a huge success and gender neutral facilities have been introduced in the Schools of Mathematics and Metallurgy and Materials.
We have reached out to other EPS societies such as MechSoc, BUMS and NucSoc to arrange joint socials throughout the year. Our first social with NucSoc in Autumn Term was so successful we repeated the event in Spring. We also joined up with WISE and CSS to host the second annual Women in Technology Conference which was another hugely inspiring event.
We are now counting down to the annual EPS Societies’ Awards in June. If you are or have been part of oSTEM, have been inspired by Jade and Amy's campaign for gender neutral toilets in STEM departments, or have enjoyed reading about our activities this year please nominate us!
If you are interested in finding more about the society, getting involved in an event or participating in our speaker series, feel free to drop us an e-mail and introduce yourself on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on our Facebook page. We would love to hear from you!
The oSTEM Committee