LGBTQ+ Scientists

I began this new section on April 6, 2021, because – beyond the arts – our common humanity includes the natural world, with science as the key. From a certain point of view, the star-swept night sky and Shakespeare both embody a transcendent wonder that we all can share. I have deep respect for people working in the STEM community: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. (Once, I’d planned to be a botanist.) In a post, I recommend a free online course, Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior. It’s a general course, not directly LGBTQ-related, but for me its ‘big picture’ insights, from genetics to climate science to animal/human behaviorism, were life-changing.

Isaac Newton

From Wikipedia: Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author (described in his time as a “natural philosopher”) who is widely recognised as one of the greatest mathematicians and most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687, established classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics, and shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus.

LGBTQ+ Newton.

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Alexander von Humboldt

From Wikipedia: Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (14 September 1769 – 6 May 1859) was a German polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and proponent of Romantic philosophy and science.He was the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835). Humboldt’s quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Humboldt’s advocacy of long-term systematic geophysical measurement laid the foundation for modern geomagnetic and meteorological monitoring.
Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in the Americas, exploring and describing them for the first time from a modern scientific point of view. His description of the journey was written up and published in several volumes over 21 years. Humboldt was one of the first people to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined (South America and Africa in particular).
Humboldt resurrected the use of the word cosmos from the ancient Greek and assigned it to his multivolume treatise, Kosmos, in which he sought to unify diverse branches of scientific knowledge and culture. This important work also motivated a holistic perception of the universe as one interacting entity. He was the first person to describe the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change, in 1800 and again in 1831, based on observations generated during his travels.

LGBTQ+ von Humboldt.

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Alan Turing

From Wikipedia: Alan Mathison Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general-purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

LGBTQ+ Turing.

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LGBTQ+ Scientists & STEM Resources

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Free University Courses, for Science & More

  • Free Open Yale Courses, in a wide range of subjects, with complete lectures as both videos and transcripts (learn at your own pace, no exams, no credits). In a post, I recommend a general science course, Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior; not directly LGBTQ-related but for me its ‘big picture’ insights, from genetics to climate science and geology to evolutionary biology, were life-changing.
  • 1,700 free online courses (from Yale, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford, more, as listed by openculture.com).
  • Article on “65 free online courses from the top US colleges” including the platforms Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn (Business Insider, March 29, 2021).
“Newton” as a ‘divine geometer,’ by William Blake (1795) – as Alexander Pope wrote for Newton’s epitaph: “Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night; / God said ‘Let Newton be’ and all was light.”

Website begun 1997 / Updated May 2, 2021

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