A yellow biohazard sign is marking the entrance to the microbiology laboratory

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LGBTQIA+ scientists describe the changes needed to make workplaces more welcoming to members of their communities.

A professor invites colleagues and their partners to a Christmas party but reacts negatively when a young gay researcher asks to bring his future husband along. A Black carnivore researcher conceals their bisexuality and personal pronouns when doing fieldwork in sub-Saharan Africa.

These two experiences are among those recounted in this Working Scientist podcast about the challenges faced by researchers from LGBTQIA+ communities.

Paleantologist Alison Olcott, who co-authored a 2020 study of 261 LGBTQIA+ geocientists and their experiences of fieldwork, tells Adam Levy how some academic institutions are changing fieldwork policies in light of the study’s findings.

They are joined by Florence Ashley, a bioethics and legal scholar whose research on trans youth care at the University of Alberta, Canada, has resulted in death threats and accusations of grooming.

This is the sixth episode of a seven-part podcast series about freedom and safety in science. This episode and the five earlier ones conclude with a follow-up sponsored slot from the International Science Council about how it is exploring freedom, responsibility and safety in science.