Canada

Science is a Drag

2022 2022 Winner Project | Engage Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage)

Science is a Drag is a Science Engagement initiative by and for the LGBTQ2SIA+ community. Taking an intersectional approach, it challenges the cis, white and heteronormative structures in STEM to create a community where people can share and engage with science in a manner that is authentic and welcoming.

Inspired by vaudeville, presentations have included stand-up, lip sync medleys, dance, live DNA extractions and even using RuPaul’s Drag Race clips to expertly explain antibiotic resistance! Our performers have showcased some of the most creative examples of Science Engagement that project partner RCIScience has seen in its 170+ year history. The impact on our community is three-fold:

1) We create an empowering and inclusive space where LGBTQ2SIA+ scientists and science communicators can share their passions for STEM in an unapologetically queer manner;

2) Our interactive shows provide a safe and welcoming space for anyone who wants to learn more about science in a way that centres the culture and values of LGBTQ2SIA+ communities;

3) Each act in our show has strong take-home messages for how audience members can apply what they’ve learned to make evidence-based decisions in their everyday lives, in areas ranging from social advocacy to climate change and participation in open science.

With an increase in hateful discourse and violence towards members of LGBTQ2SIA+ communities, Science is a Drag is a sanctuary rooted in the joy of learning science through the powerful art of drag.

Carrie Boyce is the Executive Director of the Royal Canadian Institute for Science (RCIScience), Canada’s oldest scientific society that’s been connecting Canadians with science since 1849! With over ten years of experience working in the field of science communication and public engagement, it’s fair to say Carrie’s become a Jack of all trades, master of some… Originally from Northern Ireland, she moved to Cambridge, England to pursue a degree in Natural Sciences, before working for organisations like the University of Cambridge, the Royal Society of Chemistry and Cancer Research UK. Eager for life’s next adventure, she moved to Canada in 2017 and has been happily working with RCIScience (and drinking maple syrup) ever since.