• 2017cover Present
  • 1
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 07:15 p.m.

A talk highlights the difficulties of LGBTQIA + scientists

The URJC organizes a conference on the situation of respect for affective-sexual and gender diversity in the Spanish scientific environment.

Raul Garcia Hemonnet

The Rey Juan Carlos University has recently organized a talk to analyze the situation of the LGBTIQA+ community in Spanish science. To carry out this analysis, the organizers of the event have invited the CSIC researcher who also participates in the SINFOTON research project (in which the URJC is part), and founder of PRISMA (Association for Affective-Sexual and Gender Diversity in Science, Technology and Innovation).

Villafranca divided his presentation into two parts. In the first, he offered statistical data that reveal the existence of significant discrimination "these data reveal that discrimination continues to exist in scientific environments and this is stronger for women than for men and for 'trans' people than 'cis' (people whose gender identity agrees with the sex assigned at birth)," says Villafranca, who adds that, according to this same statistic, "one in three 'trans' people had suffered harassment or exclusion in the scientific ecosystem of the United Kingdom."

In addition, the fact was addressed that as a result of this situation, many LGBTIQA+ people abandon their scientific careers or "lock themselves in the closet", says the speaker, "which causes anxiety and harms their work".

Villafranca pointed out that discrimination is less in areas of knowledge with a greater number of women, such as social sciences and humanities, while it grows in areas such as engineering, with a greater presence of men.

The fact that, within the group, women are the ones who suffer the most from discrimination based on sexual orientation in the scientific environment was also commented on. The speaker established differences between areas of knowledge, pointing out that there is more discrimination in the engineering sector, while this is less in areas such as Arts and Humanities.

Aitor Villafranca advocated in his talk for a series of measures to curb this type of discrimination, “education about these realities, protection of these people and visibility, showing visible LGBTQIA+ references in the world of science. All this from an intersectional perspective, taking into account the different axes of discrimination”.

For this scientist, it is important that universities host this type of talk because “if there is no equality of opportunity, we are losing diverse talent that is going to do better science and so that anyone can have a career in the field of their choice without inequality or harassment” .

An opportunity to learn about the reality of this group, the world of science and ways to achieve greater equality.