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


3 thoughts on “Orlando.

  1. I’m going to miss Friday’s discussion because of travel, but I wanted to gently push back on the “greatest mass shooting” language. As Native voices have been trying to point out, the massacre at Wounded Knee was a much greater loss of life to guns, just that it was at the hands of the US government. And I don’t think the superlatives are necessary to make a case for why we have to discuss this, be introspective, and advocate for change. Enough is enough, and it was enough a long time ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your point is very well taken, and I’ve adjusted the wording to reflect this.

      I personally am unsure how to continue down this line of dialogue you open. Here, we want to discuss what happened over the weekend, but we must place it in the context you clarify – and I’m not sure how to do that. How *do* we talk about Orlando, while also being aware of that context and not ignorant of history, not silencing Native voices and experiences? I don’t really know how to do that correctly, we need to talk about both.

      We greatly welcome guest posts and would be thrilled if you have time to write something on this point. If you’re interested please message myself of one of the other authors. You are also welcome to post comments before or responses to the discussion after the fact under the hashtag, and we’ll be able to both retweet and capture them in the recap. These conversations are beyond an hour, so it’s always great when they happen outside of our determined time.

      Thank you and take care. Safe travels.


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