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Neurodiversity in the STEM Field

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

By Hyeonyi Cho

Steve Jobs, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein are all famous names that everyone has heard of for their great contributions in science and mathematics; however, there’s a similarity that these people share. Today, many believe that these geniuses were neurodivergent. Beyond just in the STEM field, many neurodivergent individuals are underrepresented in universities, in the workplace, and in the media. Many of these universities are open to diversity but that diversity is still limited in terms of neurodiversity. For example, only 8% of students have reported having specific learning difficulties at Imperial College. Likewise in workplaces, 40% of neurodivergent workers tend to avoid and feel distressed talking about their neurodivergent features to other workers, reflecting the rather unaccepting society. This calls for the empowering of neurodivergent individuals essential and crucial in our everyday lives.

Many efforts by organizations and researchers had been committed to encouraging more neurodivergent students to study and take further steps into STEM. For instance, we can learn from Professor Sara Rankin’s 2eMPower project, which was founded to provide more supports and opportunities for neurodivergent students to pursue future careers in STEM fields. Now, more and more institutions are advocating for greater representation and acceptance of the neurodivergent population.

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