Four important dates mark the calendar from the 15th to the 20th of November. They are days of science and pride, which merge into a joint cause, as they should.
The 15th of November if the feast of Saint Albert the Great, patron saint of scientists. Paradoxal as it is, people who devote their life to building knowledgement and improving society by studying verifiable and repeatable facts were given a man from Baviera who died eight centuries ago as magical protection and guidance. Albert the Great was, indeed, an authority in many sciences. Too bad that at the time alchemy was in his list of sciences.
Fantasy notwithstanding, aclhemy did produce some advancements in chemistry. In fact, since 2002 the 15th of November is also the Day of Chemistry, albeit only in Spain, where the author of this blog is based.
On the side of pride, the 20th of November is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, founded in 1999 by transgender Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialise the murder of transgender Rita Hester and honour all the victims of transphobia.
In between, two days honour both science and the LGBTQIA+ community. On the 17th of November of 2019 Science Queers Academy premiered. To our knowledge, it’s the first and so far only science-based drag reality show [available on YouTube in Spanish with English subtitles]. Additionally, the 18th of November marked the third International Day of LGBTQ+ People in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, the LGBTQ+ STEM Day for short.
The LGBTQ+ STEM Day celebrates the work and highlights the barriers of queer folks in STEM. Previously held on the 5th of July for nerdy yet impersonal reasons, its third edition was moved because of the 60th anniversary of astronomer and gay activist Frank Kameny’s US Supreme Court fight against workplace discrimination.