SXSW 2020

STEM Needs Diversity and Inclusion: Why It Matters


Can you name five living scientists? Do they look alike, sound alike, are only celebrity scientists or historical figures? As you've guessed, STEM has not just a PR problem but also a diversity problem, which creates a problem when someone *different* shows up to the table. In a world where people struggle to name one living scientist or view scientists in a certain way, science loses from a diversity of thought and discourse that can influence the culture of STEM. STEM professionals are ALL around us, and they don't always behave or look like the archaic description that society portrays. Meet the scientists who are not just talking the talk but walking the walk. They are changing the face of STEM by leading powerful online communities and lifting marginalized voices in innovative ways.

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  1. The voices we need to hear the most are mostly the voices that are silenced due to lack of resources: LGBT, disability, low-income, immigrants, etc.
  2. We should create an atmosphere that helps others realize that their self-identity should never be a determining factor in the STEM career they choose.
  3. The image of how a scientist ‘should’ behave and look like continues to follow an archaic description: Social media is helping to change that each day



Sophie Okolo, Founder, Global Health Aging

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Advertising & Brand Experience
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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