Latino is not even race, Is this statistic about how many Latinos/Hispanics have a PhD in the USA correct?

and it was only referenced via social media,

my question Is there any relible evidence of underrepresentation of LGBTQ scientists in STEM fields?

even after referencing Nature and New Your time is off topic?

Is there some issue with LGBTQ on this part of SE?


in my opinion the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Transportation), are not part of Academia

  • @Nicole Hamilton, Buffy, user3209815
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 15:43
  • 1
    Hmmm... - most of the places listed in your PS hire quite a number of people from academia, and interact closely with academia at conferences, on journal boards, and through research collaborations. Excluding them seems a bit misplaced. For the hold, I would consider paring down the question (note that your quote is tangential at best to the question, and frankly laughable in my experience - I've known many STEM people who are extraordinary musicians. Math and music seem particularly entwined).
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 17:16
  • @JonCuster are you telling me that those federal agencies are part of academia and they represent how work and organization is done in academia?
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 4:08
  • All PhDs, whether at a university, government lab, or government agency, all come from the same pool of people, all of whom have been through academia and all of whom keep interacting with each other throughout their careers. Further, you seem to be trying to argue that, say, the NSF is not intimately connected with academia. Good luck with that!
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 13:05
  • @JonCuster again I dont understand how is that relating to academia?
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 14:57

3 Answers 3


I can think of dozens of questions about LGBTQ issues here. Your assertion that this is considered off topic is simply wrong.

Further, the question about underrepresentation in STEM is a question for the main site, not the meta.

  • I will cede that the issue is somewhat light on tags, though Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 12:47
  • But I put it on main.
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 12:49
  • 3
    @Stefan Ignore the "off-topic" close reason. It looks more like it was closed because people couldn't understand what you were asking. The system to put questions on hold leaves much to be desired. I think the comments your question elicited pretty much describe the situation. Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 12:59
  • how to reopen is there any mechanism?
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 17:16

After some thought, I think that there is a core issue here that Academia should be interested in. That issue closely parallels concerns about under representation of (females, Hispanics, ...) in higher education, either as students or faculty. I would say that, having run a few journal queries, that the topic of LGBTQ demographics in academia is pretty new, and in general the topic of LGBTQ in overall society is still pretty new (consider the wide range of various estimates for simply the number of LGBTQ individuals in the general population).

However, the question as asked contains various elements that made it possible to vote as unclear or off-topic. These included

  • That "people in STEM tend to be more feminine"
  • The whole second half of the question about hiding piano playing
  • A fairly aggressive tone insisting on 'academia' relevance and ignoring comments asking to clarify things.
  • (I'll note in passing that the linked Nature item is a commentary, not a technical article)

So, given that, I would suggest that a simpler, broader question on LGBTQ in academia would still be appropriate. One more focused on what do we know now about LGBTQ demographics at least through undergrad -> faculty (actual data). A second question might revolve around what, if anything, is out there pointing to acceptance of LGBTQ in academia (perhaps focused just on faculty, may differentiate based on area).

  • I would like to clarify something, I expressed my personal opinion, but I put it clearly that it is just opinion. and I asked if people have sources that indeed STEM academia is homophobic, please let me know for such reaserch, I find STEM more accepting towards LGBT then Arts. but again that is my opinion, the piano quote is from popular litterature that claims how possition is very very tense. Which again, never in my short lifetime I experienced.
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 17:18
  • I didnt understand any comment in that question :( i tried to see again, but I dont see how is related to close vote?
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 17:19
  • 2
    @Stefan In reading your question I got the impression that you were on a bit of a poorly-disguised rant against LGBTQ folk, especially phrases like "so called" that are often used to discredit claims of under-representation. If this was your intent, your attitude is unlikely to be welcome here. If this was not your intent, you should read carefully the suggestions JonCuster makes here, edit your post to remove that content, and request a reopen. I agree fully that it is a relevant question to this stack if that is removed.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 17:21
  • As Scott pointed out above, the specific close reason is not that helpful; it only shows the plurality reason that close voters gave - it may be that most of the votes came for other specific reasons. This is a known issue with close vote reasons in SE as a whole. You should pay more attention to the feedback you are getting here on meta rather than the specific wording of the close vote.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 17:23
  • 2
    @Stefan - the piano quote, I think, detracts from the core question. In my (likely longer it seems) experience in STEM the anecdote rings patently false. One institute where I worked arranged a trip to Paris for everyone to hear one of our grad students play in an orchestra putting on one of Bach's Passions in Notre Dame - nobody would have batted an eye at somebody playing the piano (other than asking them to join a trio or whatnot). So: focus on the core question.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 19:49
  • @BryanKrause NO!!! I am LGBT no intention, I just wanted to point out that STEM filed is most openminded, how can you do science if you are not?
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 3:43
  • @jona Custer, comment on Piano was made by famoust matematician who works in academia and is part of LGBT. I think it is relevant bcs it depict one feelings toward academia, and connect not haveing hobby to heteronormative
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 3:45
  • 2
    @Stefan - I get it, you really like that quote. It is an anecdote that reveals that LGBTQ people can have negative interactions in many different ways. But, it is not the data you are looking for.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 12:55

Here is a possible edit, incorporating comments from both the main question and this question, that might help clarify your point and address concerns about the question. I'm not going to just make the edit because there's only one chance at getting put into the post-edit re-open queue, but please feel free to adopt any of it that you think is useful.

Note that I did add the second footnote wholesale, to address questions about "what does representative mean?" Of course you are free to edit or ignore that bit (or any other part of the suggested rewrite) if it doesn't match your intent.

What the edited question would look like:

According to the Nature article "LGBTQ scientists are still left out" there are some "heteronormative assumptions" in the STEM field which artificially suppress the number of LGBTQ people in the field. This view of the sciences1 doesn't match my own experience and anecdotal evidence. (I have seen evidence of a sexism issue but it is a separate issue from LGBT.) In my (admittedly subjective) experience, people in STEM tend to be more open-minded than any other profession.

The Nature article cites a few studies, but none seems to be directly on-point (one study focused on government workers rather than scientists in academia-proper, and another had results that were not statistically significant and whose authors admitted they had made mistakes). Again maybe I'm wrong, but I would like to see a more relevant peer review study (gender studies or social science) explaining this problem.

**What robust studies exist on the representation of LGBTQ individuals2 in STEM fields within academia?

1 The idea that STEM fields are especially constrained comes up in other contexts, too. For example, according to an opinion piece by Manil Suri published in the New York Times, in science it is also not appropriate to talk about hobbies.

Manil Suri is a famous scholar, his description of the situation in academia is worrying, and gives the impression that behavior is constrained and under close scrutiny.

Being too expressive of personal identity can be viewed as running counter to scientific neutrality. In competitive venues, where complete immersion in one’s field might be the promoted ideal, the mention of an extracurricular pursuit can even be seized upon as a lack of commitment. I remember a young mathematician at a prestigious research institute sharing his love for piano playing after hearing I wrote fiction. “Don’t tell anyone in my department I own a piano,” he requested in the next breath.

This is a shock to me because I perceived the STEM field as most openminded.

2Representation could measure the percentage of LGBTQ faculty in STEM fields in comparison to other academic disciplines, or something like dropout rates for LGBTQ students in STEM fields compared to dropout rates for other students.

  • thank you. Done.
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 6:19

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