It’s needed everywhere and, in particular, it’s needed across the board in the STEM fields.
This month’s STEM Tuesday Writing Tips & Resource post is short and sweet.
We need diverse talents and viewpoints to solve our problems. We need the collective brainpower. A toolbox limited to a single hammer can pound away but limits what can be accomplished. A variety of tools can handle so much more. It has unlimited potential.
Diversity has always played a role in STEM. We’ve been ingrained by media, myth, and selective memory to think of STEM as white and male by default. That is an error. A mistake of perception that we must fight through in order to discover the truth is much richer than the default myth.
Throughout history, there are examples of how important diverse thought has been in the STEM fields. Just use this month’s STEM Tuesday — Diversity in STEM — Book List as a great jumping-off point. Pick a book. Any book. Dive in.
(Me? I’m going to start with, What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kareem was one of my sports idols when I was a kid and his “second” career as an author takes his idol status to astronomical levels.)
Creativity, innovation, and problem-solving are not unique to gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Anyone can have ideas.
Anyone can come up with solutions.
Anyone can contribute their uniqueness in their unique way.
They just need a place at the table. Or lab bench. Or board room. Or design meeting. Or…
Mike Hays has worked hard from a young age to be a well-rounded individual. A well-rounded, equal opportunity sports enthusiast, that is. If they keep a score, he’ll either watch it, play it, or coach it. A molecular microbiologist by day, middle-grade author, sports coach, and general good citizen by night, he blogs about sports/training-related topics at www.coachhays.com and writer stuff at www.mikehaysbooks.com. Two of his science essays, The Science of Jurassic Park and Zombie Microbiology 101, are included in the Putting the Science in Fiction collection from Writer’s Digest Books. He can be found roaming around the Twitter-sphere under the guise of @coachhays64 and Instagram at @mikehays64.
The O.O.L.F Files
This month’s version of the O.O.L.F.(Out of Left Field) Files highlights resources toward training a diverse workforce for the STEM fields.
The college I work at is doing good work when it comes to developing a more diverse STEM field. Here are a couple of the programs at Kansas State University.
- Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- College of Engineering
- Diversity and Inclusion Program (established in the late 1970s)
PEW Research Report 2021
The State of STEM Education
An interesting 2020 paper from the International Journal of STEM Education
- Factors influencing participation of underrepresented students in STEM fields: matched mentors and mindsets
EiE’s list of organizations working to promote Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) excellence in STEM
An analysis of current STEM workforce and education data from Thomas Insights
Why STEM Diversity Matters from Wired
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna shared the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for one of the most powerful molecular discoveries ever, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or CRISPR for short. CRISPR vaulted gene-editing technologies into high gear.