The UA chapter of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, a national organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning representation and leadership in STEM fields, will be hosting a live video panel with the hosts of popular YouTube channel ASAP Science. The panel will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Marley building Room 230.
“ASAP Science is one of YouTube’s most popular science channels, with over 3 million subscribers,” said Cole Eskridge, a graduate student in the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Entomology and Insect Science and president of oSTEM at the UA. “It features two guys, Greg [Brown] and Mitch [Moffit], who are both out, gay and are in a relationship with each other.”
Victoria Osby, an MIS junior and oSTEM’s vice president of finance, described ASAP Science.
“One good way to describe what ASAP Science is referring to it as ‘armchair science,’” Osby said.
If you aren’t a science major, for example, it’s a way to learn about scientific topics in a way that a lay person can understand.
“It’ll be a forum where they’ll be able to talk about their experience — what got them into science, how they met, their experience being out as gay in the science field,” Eskridge said. “But there will also be a particular focus on how they got into science communication as a profession, giving them the ability to give advice to students who might be thinking of going in that direction.”
Moffit and Brown chose a STEM career that’s outside of the more traditional career paths in industry or academia. Instead, they chose a path that allows them to really reach out to the public and really engage them, Eskridge said.
“For example, they answer questions like why do we need to sleep, why the dress is blue and black as opposed to white and gold or the science of orgasms,” Eskridge said. “Stuff that really sparks peoples interests and makes them say, ‘Hey, I have wondered about that.’”
OSTEM seeks to support members of the LGBTQ community who are also in the STEM fields.
“We encourage greater [LGBTQ] equity in STEM fields,” Eskridge said. “Basically, that comes out as encouraging greater visibility of queer scientists so they can self-identify and people can see they’re not alone and isolated in their fields. We also encourage allies to be visible and show that they are in support of students and scholars in the field.”
Follow Laeth George on Twitter.