Assistant Professor of Sociology Tom Waidzunas has been busy. His new book, The Straight Line: How the Fringe Science of Ex-Gay Therapy Reoriented Sexuality, looks at the role science has played in establishing current ideas about sexual identity. Meanwhile, Waidzunas is also working on three projects funded by the National Science Foundation that examine how sexual identity can influence the experience of STEM professionals. I sat down with Waidzunas for an in-depth conversation about the complex issues he tackles in his book, the first-of-its-kind study on LGBTQ persons in STEM fields.
“STEM fields are widely understood to be meritocratic, but we are learning ways that professional judgment in science and engineering (represented as merely ‘objective’) can become intertwined with anti-LGBT bias.”