Motion sickness as metaphor: engaging with diversity in STEM

Rachel A. Bergstrom
2019 Advances in Physiology Education  
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) continue to work to increase the diversity of the fields, yet there are still significant historical and societal hurdles to be overcome before we reach full representation throughout STEM. The concept of science identity has become a point of interest in this process; it has been suggested that development of one's identity as a scientist is critical to persistence in the field. Metaphors that are rooted in bodily experience can provide a
more » ... can provide a starting point to understand abstract concepts, including science identity and how we as STEM educators respond to increasing diversity within our fields. Given the history of STEM being predominantly populated by people who are white and male, disorientation or discomfort with increasing diversity is not unexpected, and many women and people of color report discrimination and marginalization as a part of their experience in STEM. Here I present a neuroscience-based metaphor that can serve as a starting point for understanding some of the potential disorientation or discomfort that we may experience as we engage with the increasing diversity of STEM and acknowledge this experience as a normal but temporary part of the process of growth and development as a field. I encourage the development and use of further discipline-based metaphors to enhance our discussion and understanding of this important work.
doi:10.1152/advan.00185.2018 fatcat:ootlr6esbnfmhdqjd6rskqay4i