In the aftermath of the tragedy in Orlando, the Diversity Journal Club is updating our discussion topic for this Friday.
When the United States continues to experiences mass shootings*, and this time a mass shooting targeting the LGBTQ+ community, how does this intersect with our lives as scientists?
Many of us can disconnect from these events, can say they happen “out there” and our science happens “in here” – in our labs, and offices, and classrooms, and field stations. In beakers and computers and mesocosms. That these things belong in one sphere, while our science exists in another. But what if we cannot disconnect? What if, to be our whole, true, selves, we must admit that they are not so easily divorced?
What does it mean to be an LGBTQ+ scientist in the US, after Orlando? Before Orlando?
If we feel we can disconnect, how are we better allies and friends and colleagues in learning from and listening to and understanding those that cannot?
Have we forced this disconnect too long? How does science itself, and its role in the world, suffer or is changed when we insist on this divorce?
How do we mentor our students in light of these events? Should we avoid discussing them in lab meetings and in classrooms – or do we learn how to have that conversation? What is lost or gained in this decision?
For our DiveristyJC discussion this coming Friday, 17 June, we offer up a safe space (albeit on social media) for us as scientists to discuss Orlando, to address these questions and more as we respond to this national tragedy, and come together with the LGBTQ+ community. Let us not spend a few months on thoughts and prayers alone, let us talk about how this impacts us as scientists, and can, and already does, impact the science we do.
Please join us this Friday, 17 June, at 2pm Eastern time on Twitter under the #DiversityJC hashtag.
Much love and light to you and yours.
*Note important comment below on language around mass shootings.
“We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light from dying embers
remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love
is love is love is love is love
Cannot be killed or swept aside” ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old