Monday, 2 September 2013

Let's Get Physical

From physicians to physicists. I return to more “hardcore” science this month with a queer look at physics. But first, apologies for posting this a day late – I had a busy weekend and needed to catch up on other things.

It’s difficult not to picture Albert Einstein when the word “physics” is mentioned. Fortunately, there are several lgbt physicists with connections to Einstein to cover, including his friend who proved his theory that gravity bends light, and another who was Keeper of Einstein’s Blackboard.

The subject of physics is not one I readily understand, so if there are unintentional scientific errors in any of my articles this month let me apologise now.

There are quite a few out lgbt physicists around the world. Whether it’s nuclear physics, astrophysics or theoretical physics, I hope to mention a few of them. I can do no better in this introduction than give a timely reminder of an organisation I mentioned at the beginning of the year, NOGLSTP – the National Organisation of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals. This American organisation provides the best information on lgbt physicists and scientists on the web.

There is also a handful of astrophysicists on this regularly updated list of lgbt astronomers I also mentioned in January. Of particular note for this month is this other list of out lgbt physicists.

These three lists are all from the USA. The doesn’t seem to any similar lists in the UK or elsewhere in the world. Many universities and scientific institutes have lgbt employer and alumni groups but no readily available list.

This is going to be another mixed month. September also includes the UK’s Heritage Open Days weekend, the anniversary of 9/11, and Bisexuality Day, and I’ll be writing something for each of them. From September 15th we also see the start of the US Hispanic Heritage Month. The Spanish had a world empire which rivalled that of the British. Even though the celebration of primarily based in and around US Hispanic culture it gives the world a chance to reflect and celebrate it’s influence in other countries. For my own little celebration I’ll be doing a continental tour round the world in my articles, taking the 5 traditional continental areas in turn and looking at the influence of, and by, the lgbt community in each area.

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