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Diverse STEM Reading: a Layer Cake of Problems

Discover some of the diverse STEM books, documentaries, podcasts, and other items available from the ISU Library and on the web, and learn how to find more of these materials. This guide was made to accompany a 2021 ISCORE presentation.


Audio materials often feature interviews or presentations which provides STEM professionals the chance to explain their experiences and expertise in their own words. The majority of the resources on this page do not provide transcripts, but those that do are noted.

University Lecture Series

The Iowa State University Lecture Series offers a line up of renowned speakers from across the world to talk about their work and experiences. What you may not know, is that the University Library's Special Collections and Archives maintains an archive of audio recordings of past lectures, many of which are fully transcribed on Aviary. 

Recordings (audio only)

Oral Histories

Iowa State University Archives and Special Collections has a collection of oral histories which are fully transcribed on Aviary. The following collections are applicable:


Podcasts can be self-produced or produced with help from a radio or professional podcasting network. This section features STEM podcasts that feature diverse stories and storytellers in STEM - though sometimes it's hard to tell. Like books, information about how podcast authors and guests identity can be difficult to find and/or judge. Luckily many of them provide author bios and pictures on their websites.

a slice of cake

This guide was made to accompany the 2021 ISCORE presentation:
Diverse STEM Reading: A Layercake of Problems :-/

Presented and created by:
Megan O'Donnell, Data Services Librarian &
Erin Thomas, Engineering Librarian

Both presenters identify as white women and recognize that this group has a disproportionate representation and influence on two of the industries that act as gatekeepers on print media: publishers and libraries.