500 Queer Scientists

On Friday 26 February, An Evening with 500 Queer Scientists will again present a series of vibrant conversations and stories from LGBTQIA+ scientists in Sydney who have successfully followed a career path in academia while being out in the lab and to their peers.

Held at The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney with support from Inpsiring Australia NSW for a second year running as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, these candid conversations will provoke positive debate and help promote science and academia as an inclusive, forward-thinking, and viable career path for bright young queer minds!

The 500 Queer Scientists initiative launched in June 2018 and highlights the real need for increased visibility of LGBTQI scientists in academia. The issues are complex, but visibility and role models are part of the solution

Here’s what attendees at last year’s event had to say:

  • I loved the diversity of the speakers – in fields, backgrounds, age range, and interests. It was fantastic to hear from such a great intersection of the community!
  • I liked the balance of the talks between their scientific research and about their personal journey.
  • The location was fantastic. The setting was very relaxed but relevant.
  • I cannot narrow it down to one thing, the whole evening was wonderful!
2020’s An Evening with 500 Queer Scientists at The Calyx.

This year, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is very excited to present An Evening with 500 Queer Scientists for the second time, again moderated by Dr Alice Motion, Associate Professor, Chemist and Science Communicator at the University of Sydney.

Alice is recognised as a leading international science communicator and is the founder of the Breaking Good citizen science project, the co-host of ABC Science podcast Dear Science and has been the host of a weekly science slot on FBi Radio’s breakfast show since June 2015.

Guest speakers

Joining Alice will be a fantastic lineup of LGBTQIA+ scientists living and working in Sydney across a range of disciplines.

  • Dr Danila Marini, Experimental Scientist at CSIRO
    Danila is an experimental scientist with the CSIRO animal behaviour and welfare team in Armidale. Their work currently focuses on all things sheep! From improving their welfare with the provision of pain relief to proving you can teach an old sheep new tricks by training them to a virtual fence. Danila is part of the CSIRO pride network as well as communications officer for the NSW Queers in Science branch. @LoveofMerinos
  • Mx Tasnim Rahman, PhD student, University of New South Wales
    Tasnim is training as a neurobiologist, having recently submitted their PhD in psychiatry. Their interests encircle elucidating the interactions between neurotransmitter and neuroinflammatory systems. They hope to alleviate suffering from mental illness and develop support, empathy, and perseverance via advocacy and science, ideally motivating others to do the same. Last year, Tas was a panelist for UNSW’s ‘Thriving as LGBTQIA+ in STEMM’ and a member of UNSW’s LGBTIQ Champion working group. In 2019, Tas was a panelist for Mardi Gras’ Queer Thinking ‘What it means to be non binary’ event and a storyteller for Maeve Marsden’s Queerstories. Tas previously has been a part of ACON’s ‘Pride in Training’ videos and ‘Improving the Health & Well-being of the Trans & Gender Diverse Community’ blueprint.
  • Mx Grace Harvie, Research Assistant, Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Institute for Medical Research
    Grace Harvie is a Research Assistant at the Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, and recent graduate of the University of Sydney. Their honours research focused on teasing out new information about how ADHD adolescents’ brains work from old, well-established cognitive tasks. With interests in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, Grae is passionate about increasing accessibility in STEM, and the involvement, visibility, and self-advocacy of queer and disabled individuals through all levels and aspects of science.  @ GraeMatterNeuro
  • Dr James Clugston, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
    James is a systematic botanist and an early career researcher with the National Herbarium of NSW. In his research James uses novel molecular DNA sequencing techniques to address taxonomic questions related to conservation genomics, systematics, phylogenetics, and plant evolution to explain and unravel complex taxonomic questions. Which his research aims address questions relating to the genetic diversity and history of species, to critical genetic issues for conservation, and documentation of fundamental diversity in plants. He is an avid science communicator and a member of the IUCN Cycad Specialist Group @Cycadales.
  • Drew Roberts, Managing Director, Shared Knowledge
    Drew is a Arakwal, Bundjalung man from the Northern Rivers, thereby making him a black sand, saltwater person. Drew was born on Gadigal country. He has experience is in legislative and judicatory within NSW Government and the legal system,  he currently is a teacher and has entered into partnership with Centennial Parklands, Royal Botanic Gardens, Australian Botanic Gardens as well as a number of education institutions and private organisations to further shared the knowledges that were past down. Shared Knowledge is an Aboriginal-owned, small business. The firm was founded in 2014 on the principles of developing and delivering high-quality services, specialising in multifaceted, comprehensive, innovative and culturally incorporative practices.

Book tickets

When: 6 – 9pm, Friday 26 February 2021
Where: The Calyx, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Cost: $35/$20

Register to attend

An Evening with 500 Queer Scientists is an official event of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It is presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, in partnership with Queers in Science and 500 Queer Scientists, and supported by Inspiring Australia NSW.