The festival also highlights the playful aspects of LGBT research

The festival also highlights the playful aspects of LGBT research

Research on the LGBT community does not always have to deal with heavy topics. So RUG scientists are organizing an event to highlight the breadth of the field: Pink Science.

Discrimination, sexual assault and mental problems: Research into gay people often doesn’t make you happy, admits associate professor of sociology Wouter Kieckens. For example, his bachelor’s thesis concluded that gay and bisexual youth drink and smoke more than heterosexual youth, as an outlet for the stress they experience.

The field is actually not all doom and gloom, he says. “These are very important topics, but we also want to highlight the positive aspects of queer life and show how diverse it is.”

festival

To this end, the Center of Expertise for the Study of LGBTQIA+ Issues, an interdisciplinary research group within the RUG, is organizing a special event. “During Pink Science, all kinds of topics are discussed, from archeology to pronouns,” says Kikins.

At the free science festival on Tuesday, June 4 at the House of Connections, there will be lectures on LGBT research and people can talk to LGBT people, test their knowledge during a quiz or contribute to the study themselves. Research ideas are also welcome. “It is an opportunity to engage with the public and demonstrate the practical applications of our work.”

Safe space

This event also aims to Safe space For the queer community within science itself. “This is very important for students from the LGBTI community who may feel like they are alone.”

Kikins knows that most scholars in the field are gay themselves. Studying people from the LGBTQ community is “like meeting yourself in literature,” he says. “In that respect, it was kind of a study of yourself. Then you discover: Hey, these feelings that I’m feeling, there’s a psychological concept behind them.

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He stresses that you don’t have to be gay to specialize in LGBT research. “But it might be a little easier if you have personal experience with it.”

Low budget

Kikins says the research group is doing its work with minimal resources. “We don’t have our own budget and rely on small contributions from our departments. This is a common problem for multidisciplinary groups, which are left out of everything.

However, they hope to raise more money in the future and thus be able to do more. Different disciplines often study these types of topics separately. By bringing together researchers in the fields of education, pedagogy, psychology, and sociology, we can collaborate more effectively and gain diverse perspectives. This is valuable to both science and the LGBTI community.

Pink science On Tuesday 4 June from 6-9pm at the House of Connections, Grote Markt 21

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