Washington Update

FASEB Comments to OSTP Support SOGI Data Collection

By: Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
On September 29, FASEB responded to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) request for information on advancing equity for the LGBTQI+ community. In its comments, FASEB emphasized that the lack of data collected on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in the scientific community prevents stakeholders from identifying barriers to participation, promotion, and retention and crafting data-driven recommendations to create positive change.

Presently, there is no nationwide effort to collect SOGI data on the current scientific trainees and workforce. FASEB has urged National Science Foundation to undertake these efforts in its variety of surveys, such as the Survey of Earned Doctorates, Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering, and Survey of Doctorate Recipients. It is likely LGBTQI+ scientists are underrepresented compared to the general U.S. population, but the opportunity to report this aspect of identity is needed to understand the extent of the issue.

FASEB appreciates concerns relating to privacy and suggests responses to potentially sensitive questions be optional. Overall, FASEB encouraged OSTP to act in its capacity as a unifier to facilitate scientific federal agencies collecting SOGI data.