Rebecca Lawson


I am a lesbian and I am a neuroscientist. //

I came out of the closet and went into research at the same time. On the first day I turned up at the University of Cambridge to start my PhD, I met my first girlfriend. Ten years on I’ve now returned to the University of Cambridge to run my own lab. We study the human brain to try to understand why people with neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism, experience the world differently. My research has a particular focus on the visual system, and the way that our prior expectations influence visual perception and decision making. I’ve always been open about my sexuality at work, but the downside to this is that you’re never done with coming out. With new colleagues I actively use female pronouns to talk about my fiancée (@camillalnord) and you can never predict how people will react. Visibility in STEM is important though, so I’ll keep on dropping the “she-bomb” until it’s not a bomb anymore. Out of the lab I like to build pinhole cameras, grow vegetables in my garden, drink tequila, and anthropomorphize my cat.