[ASC-list] looking for famous gay researchers from Australia or elsewhere

Toss Gascoigne director at tossgascoigne.com.au
Tue Jun 9 05:12:14 UTC 2020

Alexandra Borrisova is president and co-founder of the Russian Association of Science Communicators AKSON and the scientific supervisor of Russia’s first MSc in science communication at ITMO University in St. Petersburg.    

She has a request, and I’ll let her explain:  

So, among writing and lecturing, I am helping out (as a volunteer) a project of a friend of mine, Karen Shainyan. He is a former science journalist and now has a lovely media project where he interviews gay people who are successful in various areas.

Here is the project
 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKv_OXE2103PLOVrQwUi5og <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKv_OXE2103PLOVrQwUi5og> (it's the English part, then there are also Russian speakers).

He also wants to include scientists, and I'm looking for them, but it turned out not to be simple. I know young gay scientists, but the genre requires a person that has some reputation and media weight.

So, I'd be very grateful if someone comes to your mind among Australian or other public experts, you can tell me?

… I normally never know about someone's sexuality unless he/she tells me directly - as it changes nothing for me. But unfortunately, it's not the same thing for the gay community, especially in Russia. They do not feel OK with expressing themselves, they face a lot of cultural barriers, like, this is not a profession for me (in our case - researcher). And the difficulties I face in finding prominent gay researchers (I'm searching internationally, let alone Russia) bring me to a very sad hypothesis/conclusion. As around 10% of the whole population is gay, it's impossible that none of them goes to academia, it's more possible that academia is not inclusive, and people do not feel comfortable expressing themselves.

The project of my friend aims to create role models showing openly gay people of different professions, talking about how it is, etc. I think it's a very noble intention that both helps gays community and sensibilizes general public about this issue (I personally find the interviews extremely interesting not missing any single one).

Sorry, if the explanation is messy, it's a complicated topic. But I hope I've managed to express the message, it's totally not about discriminating or pre-selecting or, god forbid, outing. It's about acceptance and diversity. And if in Australia this issue does not exist, and there are a lot of openly gay people in academia that face no problems at all, I hope someone can do this charity to less developed states - by just sharing their experiences.

SO if you have any ideas please contact Sasha directly at: alexandra.borissova at gmail.com

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