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            Plasma Pride

Physicists within the Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) LGBT+ community

The APS DPP Pride Committee was established in 2021 and envisions a scientific community that is open, welcoming, and supportive of all scientists within the gender and sexual orientation minority communities.

Join the APS-DPP Pride Discord server to connect, network, relax, and keep up-to-date with DPP Pride related news.

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  • DPP Pride Special Seminar Recording

      • A recording of the special seminar, "LGBT and/or women in physics: A Social Network Analysis (SNA) approach on why and how they stay" by Dr. Camila Amaral, is now available through the APS YouTube channel:
  • DPP Pride Special Seminar

    • The DPP Pride Committee is excited to announce this year's special seminar in celebration of Pride Month, "LGBT and/or women in physics: A Social Network Analysis (SNA) approach on why and how they stay" by Dr. Camila Amaral (abstract and details below).  The seminar will be hosted on Zoom on Thursday, June 22 at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT.  All APS members are invited to attend.  Register here to receive a Zoom link (registration is free):

      Abstract: Part of a successful career trajectory in physics is building and maintaining a professional network of peers, collaborators, and mentors that supports one’s professional growth and advancement. Building these networks can be challenging for minoritized groups, such as women and LGBT people, and may be one of the reasons leading to the challenges they face in physics. This study applies qualitative Social Network Analysis (SNA) to better understand how these groups build their social networks and the impact of these networks on their careers. In this presentation we focus on experiences contributing to the permanence of women and LGBT physicists in the field of physics, discussing how people in different sectors talk about their trajectories, challenges and ways how their institutions supported (or not) their identities and professional advancement.


      Speaker bio: Dr. Amaral is a Brazilian physicist who obtained a PhD in Physics Education from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and currently works as a postdoc at the Physics Education Research group at the University of Utah (PERU), researching the experience of women and LGBT people who hold a PhD in physics or closely related fields and currently work in the field in the United States.
  • DPP Pride Statement on 2024 DPP Meeting

    • Dear DPP community,

      As representatives of the DPP LGBTQ+ community, the DPP Pride Committee strongly opposes the offensive anti-LGBT laws recently passed in Tennessee, and fully supports the community's efforts to find new solutions for the 2024 DPP meeting.  The core issue here is the safety and wellbeing of DPP members.  The Tennessee laws, specifically TN SB0003, are (intentionally) worded vaguely enough so as to be able to target any person who is deemed sufficiently gender non-conforming by the state, including our trans colleagues - much like other obscenity laws which have been historically used to intimidate and threaten queer people.  This puts them at risk of harassment, arrest, or worse, and this is simply unacceptable.  We should not and cannot demand that DPP members risk their safety to attend a DPP meeting, nor can we demand that they opt-out, stay home, or participate remotely just to safeguard their wellbeing.  If we cannot make the meeting meaningfully safe for everyone, then we are implicitly stating that some members have less value, and that is not the type of community we want to build.

      We hope all DPP members share our desire to prioritize the safety of meeting attendees and voice their support.

  • DPP Pride LGBTQ+ Networking Dinner

    • Come meet other LGBTQ+ plasma physicists! DPP Pride is organizing our annual and informal networking dinner for LGBTQ+ community members and their families to take place during the APS DPP annual meeting in Spokane, WA on Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 from 7-9 pm. We’ll meet at the registration desks and walk to a local restaurant. Please bring a method of payment for your dinner. An informal social event for later that week will be planned during the dinner. For updates: check back at this website; consider signing up on our mailing list; or look for our advertising at the DPP meeting in the registration area.

  • DPP Pride Luncheon

    • Join DPP Pride for a Luncheon at the APS DPP meeting in Spokane, WA on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 from 12:30-2 pm. Meet fellow LGBTQ+ plasma physicists and allies over a catered lunch, followed by a presentation by Prof. Allison Mattheis on being queer in STEM. Tickets can be purchased during registration.

  • DPP Pride Special Seminar Recording

    • If you missed the DPP Pride Special Seminar: National Security and the LGBT Community, you can view a recording here.

  • Pride Month Events

    • To celebrate pride month, DPP Pride is highlighting members of the plasma physics community throughout the month of June. Click on the images above or check out the Profiles page to read about them.

      DPP Pride will also be hosting a special virtual seminar by Dr. Matthew Allen of Sandia National Laboratories entitled “National Security and the LGBT Community” (abstract below).  The seminar will be hosted on Zoom on June 14, 2022 at 4 pm EDT.  All DPP members are invited to attend and can register here.


      In appreciation of PRIDE, Dr. Matthew Allen of Sandia National Laboratories will lead discussion on being LGBT+ in a National Security Agency.  From the Lavender Scare of the 1950’s to today, LGBT professionals in national security have fought a long battle for the privilege of serving their country.  Dr. Allen will provide a brief overview of what is meant by “national security”, a historical discussion of the legal barriers barring LGBT professionals from serving in national security, lifting of those barriers in recent times, and struggles that exist today.

      Matthew Allen has been an engineer at Sandia National Laboratories for seventeen years.  He received his PhD in Nuclear Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2004 for his thesis on “Ion acceleration from the interaction of high-power lasers with thin foils.” He spent one year as a Fulbright scholar at the Institute for Laser Engineering at University of Osaka in Japan. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1997 with a BS in Optics.

  • Letter sent to NASA Associate Administrator Steve Shih

    • Dear Associate Administrator Steve Shih,

      The plasma physics community is disturbed and saddened by NASA leadership’s recent termination of the test project at Goddard Space Flight Center that allowed employees to display their pronouns in official agency identifiers, as well as reports that this policy change was communicated in a manner that disrespected employees’ identities. Public statements from NASA in response have done little to address the concerns of the LGBT+ community and fail to commit to restoring this option and making it available to all NASA employees.

      As members of a professional society spanning a wide range of career statuses from students to scientists and faculty, we want to emphasize that voluntary (or opt-in) usage of personal pronouns in display names, screen names, and other forms of ID is a professional practice that is widely used at many institutions, both public and private, and a low-cost tool for affirming the gender identities of employees.

      We are deeply concerned by individual accounts that employees were told by leadership that their pronouns were removed because they made others uncomfortable. An environment that discourages employees from disclosing their gender identities can lead to misgendering and other harmful outcomes for marginalized individuals. Shaming vulnerable employees for displaying their pronouns in this manner is unprofessional and unacceptable. 

      We urge NASA to choose a standard of practice that gives employees the flexibility to use and display their preferred pronouns at their own discretion.  We note with interest that NASA has described this policy as successful, and we are dismayed that this successful policy was terminated with no notice, and that NASA has failed to provide an equivalent service. This is a significant step backward on NASA's journey toward creating a diverse and equitable workforce.

      Derek Schaeffer (Chair, he/him) 
      on behalf of the APS DPP Pride Committee

      Attached is a complete list of signatories to this letter.

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