LGBTQ+ History Month

As LGBTQ+ History month kicks off there is a range of informative and enriching events happening throughout the University.

We’d like to take this time to highlight two scientists from the LGBTQ+ community who are represented in the portraiture around the RSL.

Christopher Strachey was a computer scientist, leader in the field of programming languages and pioneer of early video games. See his portrait in the RSL and read more about this amazing figure on our blog.

Our colleagues in the archives have an amazing collection of his working papers and lectures that can also be consulted.

Oliver Sacks is one of the few scientists whose work became well-known through his published accounts of neurological case stories, particularly the adaptation of his book ‘Awakenings’ into a film starring famous American actors. He was also a man who lived at a time when he had to hide his homosexuality for fear of imprisonment or chemical castration. We are grateful to his foundation for allowing us to include this eminent Oxford alumnus in our portraiture. Read more about him on our blog.

Book Display 

We have also put together a small book display that you can view in the break out area. The collection highlights the great work of LGBTQ+ scientists and their allies in history such as combatting AIDS or representing the LGBTQ+ community in data. Other titles provide advice for LGBTQ+ scientists or are interesting reads about the lives and experiences of the community.

Photograph of a book case displaying a selection of LGBT+ related books.Beyond our small display, Bodleian Libraries has created a reading list of LGBT+ resources. There are many great books and websites there that you may find useful to learn more about LGBTQ+ issues and history.

 Books

Book cover of "How to Survive a Plague: the story of how activists and scientists tamed AIDS" by 'David France.France, D. (2017) How to survive a plague : the story of how activists and scientists tamed AIDS. First Vintage books edition. New York: Vintage Books.

Print Book available in the RSL – WC503.7 FRA 2016. Find it in SOLO.

Book cover of "Succeeding in academic medicine: a roadmap for diverse medical students and residents" by John P SanchezSánchez, J. P. (ed.) (2020) Succeeding in academic medicine : a roadmap for diverse medical students and residents. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Print Book available in the RSL – W21 SAN 2020. Find it in SOLO.

Book cover of "Heart, Brain and Mental Health Disparities for LGBT People of Color" by James J GarciaGarcía, J. J. (2021) Heart, brain and mental health disparities for LGBTQ people of color. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Print book available in the RSL – WA305 HEA 2021. Find it in SOLO.

Book cover of "The Emergence of Trans: Culture, politics and everyday lives" by Ruth Pearce. Pearce, R. (2020) The emergence of trans : cultures, politics and everyday lives. Igi Moon et al. (eds.). Abingdon, Oxon ; Routledge.

Available as an ebook.

Book Cover of "Pride Parades: how a parade changed the world" by Katherine McFarland Bruce.

Bruce, K. M. (2017) Pride parades : how a parade changed the world. New York: New York University Press.

Available as an ebook.

Book Cover of "Black On Both Sides: a racial history of trans identity" by CR Snorton. Snorton, C. R. (2018) Black on both sides : a racial history of trans identity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Available as an ebook.

Book cover of "Sexuality: A graphic guide" by MJ Barker.

Illustrated by Jules Scheele.

Barker, M.-J. (2021) Sexuality : a graphic guide. London: Icon.
Print Book, RSL Wellbeing Room – HQ21 BAR 2021 (WBR).

Find it on SOLO.

Book cover of "Queer" by David Getsby.Getsy, D. (ed.) (2016) Queer. London: Whitechapel Gallery.

Print Book available from our Offsite Storage. Find it in SOLO.

Book cover of "Queer Data: Using gender, sex and sexuality data for action" by Kevin Guyan.

Guyan, K. (2022) Queer data : using gender, sex and sexuality data for action. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Print Book available in the RSL, HQ73 GUY 2022. Find it in SOLO.

RSL Portraiture – Abdus Salam

Abdus Salam – Theoretical Physicist Nobel Prize for Physics (1926- 1996) 

Abdus Salam broke many barriers to become the first Muslim Pakistani to win a Nobel Prize for science. He lived in Oxford.

About Abdus Salam:

Further resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Dame Louise Johnson and Charlotte Trower

Dame Louise Johnson – biophysicist and structural biologist (1940 – 2012)

Louise Johnson is an inspiring female scientist described as one of the pioneering spirits of protein crystallography and structural enzymology, and remembered for her kindness and mentoring.

About Louise Johnson:

 Further resources:

Charlotte Trower – botanical artist (1855-1928)

Charlotte Trower, “a gifted botanical watercolourist”, was known as an amateur botanist. During her time, amateur botany and flower painting were undervalued and not worthy of being part of natural history. Yet, in collaboration with other amateur botanists, her sister Alice and George Claridge Druce, she produced detailed drawings that have contributed to our contemporary knowledge of the flora of the British Isles.

About Charlotte Trower:

About the illustrations:

  • The Oxford Ragwort, 1 May 1907, first illustration produced by Charlotte Trower after she and her sister began their association with G.C.Druce. The original is held in the Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy, Bodleian libraries. Shelfmark: Oxford Ragwort MS Sherard 428, f.12.
  • Monkey Orchid 7 June 1907 was produced by Charlotte Trower. The Monkey Orchid was discovered by G.C. Druce. He kept the precise location secret from his collaborators and only revealed the site to the Trower Sisters many years later. The original is held in the Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy, Bodleian Libraries. Shelfmark: Monkey Orchid MS Sherard 439, f.27.
  • Search Trower paintings Index (ox.ac.uk)

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Nikolaas Tinbergen and Oliver Sacks

Nikolaas Tinbergen – ethologist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1907-1988)

We celebrate Nikolaas Tinbergen for his illustrious contributions in the field of ethology alongside his lifelong battle with depression.

About Nikolaas Tinbergen:

 Further resources:

 Oliver Sacks –neurologist and author (1933-2015) 

Oliver Sacks is one of the few scientists whose work became well-known through his published accounts of neurological case stories, particularly the adaptation of his book ‘Awakenings’ into a film starring famous American actors. He was also a man who lived at a time when he had to hide his homosexuality for fear of imprisonment or chemical castration. We are grateful to his foundation for allowing us to include this eminent Oxford alumnus in our portraiture.

About Oliver Sacks:

 Further resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Edith Bulbring

Edith Bülbring – pharmacologist and smooth-muscle physiologist (1903-1990)

About Edith Bülbring:

 Further resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – John Radcliffe

John Radcliffe

About John Radcliffe:

Further resources:

  • Cranston, D. (2013). John Radcliffe and his legacy to Oxford. Words by Design.  Available in SOLO https://tinyurl.com/4228xdvt
  • Pettis, William. (1715). Some memoirs of the life of John Radcliffe [by W. Pettis.]. (2nd ed.).  Available in SOLO. http://tinyurl.com/2cnw64jh
  • Nias, J. B. (1918). Dr. John Radcliffe: a sketch of his life with an account of his fellows and Foundations. Clarendon Press. Available in SOLO http://tinyurl.com/3bx8cm95

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Acland Map of Oxford

Acland Map of Oxford 1854

Sir Henry Acland was a physician, educator, and Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. One of his main interests was sanitary and public health matters. In 1854, he published his Memoir on the cholera at Oxford, in the year 1854: with considerations suggested by the epidemic. The map indicates areas of three outbreaks in 1832, 1849, and 1854 in Oxford. Very little is known about the identity of the illustrator apart from the notation that his ‘Memoir was drawn by a Lady,’ reflecting the lack of full recognition of female contributions in science in the 19th century.

More about Henry Acland and the map:

  • Fox, R.  (2014, September 25). Acland, Sir Henry Wentworth, first baronet (1815–1900), physician. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. https://doi-org.ezproxy-prd.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/10.1093/ref:odnb/62
  • Acland, H. W. (Henry W. (1856). Memoir on the cholera at Oxford, in the year 1854: with considerations suggested by the epidemic. J. Churchill. Available in SOLO http://tinyurl.com/wx9uhx8b
  • Acland, H. W. (Henry W. (1855). Map of Oxford, to illustrate Dr. Acland’s Memoir on cholera in Oxford in 1854, : showing the localities in which cholera & choleraic diarrhœa occurred in 1854, and cholera in 1832 & 1849; together with the parts of the town described as unhealthy, by Omerod, Greenhill & Allen, and a writer in the Oxford Herald; the parts remedied since the date of their descriptions; the districts still undrained; the parts of the river still contaminated by sewers, in 1855; and the contour levels.. [Map]. J. Churchill. https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/e290f1f9-ef2c-4779-a326-42f79f69a992/

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Alan Turing

Alan Turing – mathematician, computer scientist (1912-1954)

Alan Turing is remembered for breaking the German naval Enigma Code during World War II, which helped end the war earlier. He is also considered to be the forefather of modern computer science. He faced profound discrimination due to his homosexuality and his life ended tragically.  Alan Turing represents an important LGBT historical figure in science whom we honour in our portraiture.  The University of Oxford is one of the five founding universities of the Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science, located at the Oxford Internet Institute in St Giles, Oxford.

About Alan Turing:

Further resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam Mirzakhani – mathematician (1977-2017)

Maryam Mirzahkani is an inspiring Iranian mathematician who was the first woman to be awarded a Fields Medal.  The society for women and non-binary students studying mathematics at the university of Oxford bears her name.  Maryam visited Oxford in 2015 to meet the society and collect the Clay Mathematics Institute Research Award.

About Maryam Mirzakhani:

Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Alan Powell Goffe

Alan Powell Goffe – pathologist (1920-1966)


About Alan Powell Goffe:

Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.