Meet 21 people changing the face of science and tech in the Northwest
These scientists are building an inclusive future for STEM in Washington state — and beyond.
When Crosscut started its “I Am STEM” series in February, we hoped to share unique and diverse origin stories of people who work in STEM and STEM-adjacent fields in and around the Pacific Northwest. Who would be included, what disciplines did they study, how many or how long we should go — these questions we largely resolved to leave open-ended. Our main role would be to get out of the way, and give our subjects the chance to tell their STEM story directly to the audience: in their own words, face to face.
Six months and 21 profiles later, we’ve interviewed coders who provide free computer programming education to women; oncologists who make cervical cancer screenings more accessible worldwide; data scientists who bring awareness to trans-exclusionary bias in our data; AI geniuses who double as advocates for other mothers in tech; biologists who spend weeks in the company of giant cats or wildfires; information technologists who create pipelines to STEM careers for the undocumented. Their careers are as varied as they are inspiring, the stories of how they got there often more so.
Above all, it is clear that we have only scratched the surface. Research institutions, industry, academia, government, corporate America and the media have far to go before the STEM fields resemble the makeup of the country. But for a brief moment, it’s worth revisiting each of these 21 remarkable people, listening to them again on their own terms and imagining how the faces of STEM might look like next year, or the year after that.
Crosscut's “I Am STEM” profiles included, left to right, starting from top row, Eric Nealy, Crystal C. Hall, Corrie Ortega, Rahul Banerjee, Os Keyes, Tracie Delgado, Morris Johnson, Clint Robins, Maia Bellon, Abigail Echo-Hawk, Bish Paul and Tarika Powell (Photo by Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut).