Diversity: It’s the Bees Knees!

26th August 2021

It’s a real treat straight out of the CHL hive, and it’s been creating a great deal of buzz lately. But just in case you have missed all the media buzz this event's drawing, we’re talking about Diversity is the Bees Knees, a most innovative take on diversity in science! And on the occasion of Wear it Purple Day today, what better way to celebrate than to give you the lowdown on this trending, buzzing, and brilliant event!

Diversity with a Difference: 28 August 2021

What could diversity, pollen and bees possibly have to do with one another? Ask the creative team of LGBTQIA+ researchers and allies at the Palaeoworks Lab at CHL—Dr Simon Connor, Dr Kelsie Long and Victoria Miller.

Nature loves diversity, and so do these three scientists, who have been busy bees making a most unique concept a reality through this event, scheduled to be held online on 28 August at 10:30am. The event is part of National Science Week 2021.

Diversity is the Bees Knees introduces LGBTIQA+ students to the amazing ways in which plants share genetic information through pollination. By showcasing this diversity, the Palaeoworks team hopes to break down commonly taught misconceptions about what is ‘natural’. The real natural world is full of amazing adaptations.

Pollen, Pollen Everywhere!

Most people think of allergies when they think of pollen, but there’s actually so much more to it. Pollen scientist Simon elaborates, “We’re going to show these can tell you where your honey comes from. It can unlock secrets about the past, like what Australia looked like when megafauna were wandering around, or how climate change has affected biodiversity over thousands of years. It helps us understand evolution and how different species are related. It can even be used to solve crimes!”

Aimed at LGBTIQA+ students 16 to 20 years old, this online event will give participants a renewed appreciation that all the world’s beauty and resilience comes from its incredible diversity.

Simon, Vicki and Kelsie are also organising some really cool online activities for registered participants. These include talks by Allan the Allergen and Beryl the Bee (pollen research scientists), a pollination game, a pollen extraction demo, microscope activities, a musical rendition of Pollination Rap, and more.

Overall, the event is designed to leave participants with confidence that diversity is what makes life so beautiful.

Growing up, both Simon and Victoria lacked an awareness of a trajectory in science or the queer community, because of limited visible role models. The pair want to be part of a change in this culture, “Science can only truly serve humanity when scientists are representative of humanity – that’s what I reckon!” explains Simon.

“I hope people come away thinking how fun science can be and that anybody with a passion for the world around us can be a scientist!” – Victoria Miller

To know more about this event, make a beeline for the Diversity is the Bees Knees event page or to register, click here.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster