I have been strongly involved in a recent push to make STEM subjects more welcoming to LGBT+ people, particularly by providing visible examples of successful LGBT+ people in these fields.

As a result of this I was shortlisted for the 2017 Gay Times Barbara Burford Honour and was jointly awarded the Royal Society Athena Prize in 2020 with Dr Alex Bond.

Journal Articles

Barres, B., Montague-Hellen, B., & Yoder, J. (2017). Coming out: the experience of LGBT+ people in STEM. Genome biology18(1), 62.

University of Nottingham Staff Network Review Task & Finish Group

I have been involved in a project at the University of Nottingham talking to our Equality & Diversity related staff network groups and providing advice to the University on how these can be signposted more clearly and be of greater use to their members and the University community as a whole.

Advice on asking for LGBT+ personal data in your questionnaire

Advice on how to ask about sexuality or gender in a questionnaire. Examples have been collated from other best practice documents, from discussions within the #LGBTSTEM twitter community and through honing the LGBTSTEMinar registration form. CC-BY.

LGBTSTEM project

STEM subjects (Science, Techonology, Engineering and Mathematics) have been traditionally thought of as heterosexual, masculine fields and the thought of this can be quite intimidating for those just starting out in the field who don’t fit this mold.  This project showcases LGBT people in the STEM fields, showing the diversity of people that can be found in roles all across the STEM disciplines and hopefully providing some role models for people who are either at a junior stage in their careers, or who are only currently considering the possibility of going into a STEM field.


I organised the 1st and 2nd LGBTSTEMinars, a conference for people in STEM subjects who identify as LGBT, or are allies, to talk about science and career issues. In its 3rd year the LGBTSTEMinar was organised by the University of York, in its 4th year it was held in London. The 5th and 6th years will be in Birmingham and Oxford.

The 1st event was awarded a Diversity in Science Grant from the Biochemical Society and also attracted funding from Institute of Physics, Royal Astronomical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, Society of Applied Microbiology and the University of Sheffield Alumni Foundation. It’s has continued to attract funding from scientific societies in the subsequent years.

The impact of the STEMinar:

How Queer Scientists Are Shaping Their Future With a Survey, Sarah Scoles, Wired

First Conference in the UK for LGBT STEM professionals, Beth Montague-Hellen, Biochemical Society Blog

Turning Point: Out for chemistry, Virginia Gewin interviewing David Smith, Nature Jobs

Why the LGBTSTEMinar succeeded and was needed, Alex Bond, The Lab and Field

Identifying as LGBT+ in physics: why does it matter? , Dominic Galliano, IOP Blog

Rethinking my views on LGBT in STEM, Michael Seery, Is this Going to Be on the Exam?

Out and Proud in STEM, Joseph Razzell Hollis, In Verba (Royal Society blog)

Coming out in STEM, Gabrielle Butkute, RSB blog