by Sarah Scoles
Originally published: July 26, 2016
JEREMEY YODER CAME out as gay while he was a graduate student in evolutionary biology. After he did, colleagues would often ask him if LGBTQ people were underrepresented in science. He honestly didn’t know. “One night I was digging around on Google Scholar for research that could address this question, and not finding much,” he says. But like a true scientist, he realized that he could find most of his answers by gathering his own data. A survey.
He sent a text message to Allison Mattheis, a friend and professor at California State University, Los Angeles. She knew more about surveys than he did. “It said something along the lines of ‘If I wanted to do an online survey of queer folks in STEM, how would I do that?’” Mattheis says. “And I wrote back something like ‘Are you asking me to introduce you to the world of the Institutional Review Board and doing research with humans? Sure, you can do this!’”
Within a week, they had registered their domain: queerstem.org.