David Ottenheimer


I am gay and I am a neuroscientist. //

I am a PhD student studying how our brains process highly palatable rewards. When I started applying to graduate programs, I realized that I couldn’t name a single LGBTQ+ professor in biomedical research. By talking to my peers and interacting with the academic community on Twitter, I’ve found out that there are many LGBTQ+ scientists out there. I hope that movements like 500 Queer Scientists will improve the visibility of LGBTQ+ academics both among LGBTQ+ trainees, sending the message that there is a place for you here, and among the non-LGBTQ+ community as well, encouraging science departments and organizations around the globe to consider how they can better serve and support LGBTQ+ individuals. In January 2018, I wrote a thread on Twitter about LGBTQ+ visibility in academia that received a lot of attention, including responses from many queer academics. It’s a great resource to find other LGBTQ+ scientists and learn about other ongoing efforts to improve visibility.