Welcome to our new section! We will be sharing recommendations of books, articles, podcasts and videos – all about science, society, education and learning. Please feel free to share content with us that you think would be of value for our readers!

Pride & Science: the queer community in STEM history

To celebrate Pride Month, we decided to dedicate this edition of “What We Are Reading, Listening To & Watching” to stories of the queer community in STEM subjects’ history.

Throughout history, queer individuals have faced significant challenges and systemic barriers in their professional and personal lives. Despite these obstacles, their resilience and passion have driven remarkable advancements that benefit society at large. From groundbreaking discoveries to technological innovations and pioneering research, the legacy of queer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technologists is rich and inspiring.

Together, we honour the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to a future where diversity and inclusion are at the heart of scientific and technological progress.



Recognised as one of the Top Ten Titles of the 2016 Booklist Rise: A Feminist Book Project for Ages 0-18, this vivid photobiography offers an intimate and revealing glimpse into the life of Sally Ride—America’s first woman astronaut.

Tam O’Shaughnessy, Sally’s life partner, provides an unparalleled perspective on the famously private, book-loving, tennis-playing physicist who captured the nation’s imagination. This photobiography takes readers on a journey from Sally’s formative years to her final moments, showcasing the profound impact she had on space exploration and beyond.

Sally Ride’s story is not just about her groundbreaking achievements as an astronaut, including her two space flights in 1983 and 1984. It’s also about her relentless advocacy for space exploration, public policy, and science education. She was a trailblazer who fought against gender stereotypes and opened doors for countless girls and women, inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM fields. Also, she has emerged as a queer icon. She paved the way for girls, women, and queer individuals to see themselves represented among those who have ventured into space, encouraging a broader interest in science and space exploration through her inspiring example.


Tam O’Shaughnessy has been interested in science since she was a young girl. She studied biology in college, earning B.S. and M.S. degrees. While teaching college biology, she became interested in learning disabilities, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She has written 10 children’s science books including The Third Planet (co-authored with Sally Ride), which won the American Institute of Physics Children’s Science Writing Award.


The LGBTQ+ STEM CAST is a podcast dedicated to amplifying the voices of LGBTQ+ scientists across various STEM fields. Hosted by Felix Berrios, this podcast delves into the fascinating journeys and groundbreaking research of LGBTQ+ experts, highlighting their unique perspectives and contributions.

Each episode features in-depth conversations with scientists who share their personal stories, from their upbringing and educational paths to their professional experiences. The podcast explores diverse topics such as climate policy, the role of music in STEM, and the discovery of new ocean creatures, showcasing the intersection of STEM, social justice, and education.

Designed to spark curiosity and learning, LGBTQ+ STEM CAST is an excellent educational resource for both adults and young listeners. It engages tween and teen audiences with accessible discussions on complex topics, making science exciting and approachable. Additionally, it offers a wholesome listening experience for families, encouraging important conversations about diversity, inclusion, and the wonders of science.

Although new episodes are no longer being produced, the existing library of episodes provides a wealth of engaging content that will keep listeners entertained and informed. While some discussions include academic jargon, the overall presentation is easy to follow and enjoyable for all age groups.

Tune in to the LGBTQ+ STEM CAST to celebrate and learn from the diverse voices shaping the future of science.


Movie: The Imitation Game

Directed by Morten Tyldum and released in 2014, this gripping biographical drama chronicles the life of Alan Turing, brilliantly portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. Turing was a mathematician whose work during World War II had a profound impact on the course of history.

“The Imitation Game” primarily focuses on Turing’s pivotal role in deciphering the Nazi Enigma code, an achievement that significantly contributed to the Allied victory and saved countless lives. Turing’s work laid the foundations for modern computing and artificial intelligence, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.

However, the film also poignantly explores Turing’s personal struggles, particularly his homosexuality, which, during his lifetime, was considered a criminal offence in the United Kingdom. Despite his monumental contributions to the war effort and science, Turing faced persecution for his sexual orientation. In 1952, he was convicted of “gross indecency” and subjected to chemical castration, a tragic and humiliating punishment that overshadowed his achievements and led to his untimely death in 1954.

“The Imitation Game” does more than recount Turing’s professional triumphs; it humanises him by shedding light on his personal battles and the societal prejudices he endured. Through this lens, the film serves as a powerful reminder of the destructive impact of intolerance and the importance of recognising and respecting individual identity.


New Science: The Academy Exhibit @ California Academy of Science

Queer and intersectional identities are revolutionising the landscape of scientific research and innovation. This exhibition celebrates the invaluable contributions of LGBTQ+ women and gender minorities of colour in STEM at the California Academy of Science’s exhibit kiosk.

Historically, science has been an exclusive domain, restricted by race, gender, wealth, and other factors that determine who could participate.

Today, queer representation in STEM still lags behind societal progress, particularly where women and gender minorities intersect with Black, Indigenous, and other person-of-colour identities. However, it is precisely this community that is driving transformative change in science—shifting away from gatekeeping and conformity towards embracing identity as a catalyst for insight and discovery. The individuals featured in the New Science exhibit come from diverse backgrounds, career stages, and fields of work, yet they share a common trait: each has encountered and overcome traditional barriers, creating new opportunities for themselves and others. They are forging an inclusive, diverse, and community-driven future for science.