It’s no secret that many LGBTQ+ Scientists have contributed to conservation efforts around the world and made a significant difference to how we understand our environment. LGBTQ+ History Month is always a time to celebrate and spotlight those in the queer community that have made a difference, to bring attention to their stories and achievements.
Izzy Bishop (She/They)
Featured in 500 Queer Scientists, Dr Izzy Bishop is a queer scientist that has specialised in freshwater conservation. Her research works to understand the quality of freshwater ecosystems across the globe. Additionally, she leads a global citizen science project, Freshwater Watch which works to monitor and protect the health of rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, and wetlands.
Dr Bishop also enjoys being able to share science and educate people – even through the mode of stand-up comedy.
Rachel Carson (She/her)
Rachel Carson, a US conservationist wrote Silent Spring in 1962, which has since been accredited with founding the global environmental movement. The book was a result of Carson’s studies on the chemical DDT and other pesticides in natural habitats.
Her earlier work focused on aquatic biology and her work as a nature writer in the 50s produced The Sea Around Us and Under the Sea Wind, both of which were hugely successful. Carson was later awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work in Conservation and for inspiring the environmental movement that also lead to establishing the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.
Ceci Pineda, is a gender non-conforming advocate for climate justice. Based in the U.S Ceci has also been an organiser as part of the Audre Lorde Project, an organisation for LGBTQ+ people of colour that focuses on radical nonviolent activism. People of colour are facing the brunt of the climate crisis so it’s important and significant to learn of the people who are supporting this cause and fighting for justice.
They are also a graduate of Brown University in Environmental Studies and is currently working towards climate justice through regeneration, education, and music.
Dan O’Neill (He/Him)
Dan O’Neill is a wildlife presenter who was openly told to play down the fact that he is part of the LGBTQ+ community. Speaking to The Independent O’Neill stated while he’d always dreamed of becoming a biologist and wildlife presenter, there were no clear LGBTQ+ role models having adventures on TV. He also spoke of the name-calling he had experienced and the advised suppression of his identity from people he worked with, as well as the stereotypes about gay people he had encountered.
It's up to us as individuals to become more educated in order to dispel harmful stereotypes and, instead, create a more inclusive and tolerant society with more brilliant and diverse people working together to save our planet. Together, we are stronger.