International Transgender Day of Visibility: Science is on the side of the Trans community

On this incredibly important day we want to highlight some trans individuals who helped shape science. We feel it is important to remember that trans individuals have always been here and they are an integral part of our communities and the history of science. While we have only picked out a few to highlight today we want to encourage everyone to learn more about other trans scientists in your field.

Also for more information on the topics of human gender and sex we would like to highlight our past cafe with Dr. Elias Capello: Let’s talk about sex gender identity!

Dr. James Barry

Dr. James Barry was a trans man born in the late 1700’s. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and was an accomplished physician and army surgeon. He is remembered as the first doctor in the British empire to successfully perform a c-section. In addition he was an advocate for human rights and increased medical sanitation standards. He spoke vocally for improved prison conditions, better treatment of asylum residents, and better care for leprosy patients.

Dr. Alan L. Hart

Dr. Alan L. Hart was born in the late 1800’s in the United States. He attended Stanford University and obtained his medical degree from the University of Oregon. He practiced as a physician and radiologist. He is credited as the first to use x-ray technology to help diagnose tuberculosis. He was also an accomplished fiction author.

Lynn Conway

Lynn Conway was born in the 1930’s and is best known for her pioneering work on microelectrode chip design. In fact, much of the modern silicon chip advancements are based on her work (next time you use a cell phone thank Lynn!). She has authored one of the most influential textbooks in her field and has been a recipient of a multitude of honors. She is an activist and an advocate for equal employment opportunities.

Dr. Ben Barres

Dr. Ben Barres was a neurobiologist at Stanford University where he did groundbreaking work on the glial cells of the brain. He pioneered the idea that glial cells played an active role in the brain by maintaining and forming the circuit function. He was chair of the Neurobiology Department at Stanford University School of Medicine and was an advocate for gender equality in the sciences.

Dr. Clara Barker

Dr. Clara Barker is a materials science researcher at Oxford university. She is a thin-film material scientist who manages the Centre for Applied Superconductivity. Her lab is making great strides in the future of thin film solid-state battery materials. She is an avid activist and outspoken leader in the LGBTQ+ community and has been awarded the Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister’s Office for her volunteer work raising awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.

Finally, if you are looking to learn more about how to support the trans community during these trying times please feel free to consult some of the resources and foundations we have linked below: