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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.

Works of Fiction (and Science-Fiction)

The original focus of this guide was non-fiction accounts about, or authored by, STEM professionals who are not CIS, straight, white men. However, works of fiction that depict a more diverse STEM reality and those based on historical figures and events are valuable sources of inspiration and learning even if they take artistic liberties with history and reality. 

Sadly, the majority of fiction films and books that depict more diverse STEM stories and role models are still often centered on white women or white men. Two recent articles about the fiction book industry are provided below as reference for information about the current state of fiction book industry. 

NOTE: Because the ISU Library is an academic library its collection of fiction and science fiction is not as robust as its non-fiction collection. For that reason some of the links of this page do not go to the catalog but instead take you to information about the item. 
Sourdough: A novel
Book cover: The Calculating Stars
Book cover: Strange Practice
Book cover: Omni vol. 1
Book cover: Seveneves
Book cover: Leviathan Wakes
Book cover: It Devours!
Book cover: Children of Time
Book cover: Give Me Your Hand
Book cover: The Three-Body Problem

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.