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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.

Things of the Internet

Some forms of online expression and communication are hard to classify. This page gathers tips, sites, and examples, on how to access, join, or use some of the more avant garde resources available on the internet.


editor's note: this content was developed before Elon Musk bought Twitter ("X"). The change in ownership has caused some communities to move while others have doubled down so this information may no longer be accurate.


Twitter is hard to classify as a resource for education because users experience Twitter differently depending on who and what they follow. However, we would be remiss in omitting it because of its usefulness as self-publishing platform and as a way to stay in tune with movements, events, and media that originate on Twitter. One recent example was Black Birders Week (#BlackBirdersWeek) which occurred during the summer of 2020 in response to a racist incident in NYC. This movement led to countless spinoff groups, conferences, communities, videos, and more highlighting black excellence in STEM.

#BlackInSTEM or Black in X' Weeks

Encouraged by the success of #BlackBirdersWeek in June 2020, many BlackInSTEM groups have founded their own initiatives, providing a week of virtual events and twitter hashtags to support and highlight the work of Black people in different scientific disciplines. --

J.Gill, The #BlackInSTEM 2020 Calendar

Hashtag activism

One of Twitter's more useful features for following movements is its hashtag system. This system allows users to link posts using hashtag terms (marked with a #) and find relevant posts (such as those for the Black in X weeks) by searching for hashtags. Learn more about how hashtags are used for activism and social justice movements:


An online forum with channels, aka "subreddits", dedicated to different themes and topics. The rules, tone, culture, and activity of each subreddit are as different as the content. The following subreddits highlight interviews conducted by asynchronous "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions with professionals in STEM fields as well as communities dedicated to women in STEM. The list is incomplete, and we're sure more applicable subreddits exist.

Blogs & Vlogs

Blogs are regularly updated webpages that typically contain personal accounts and reflections on a topic. Many science bloggers have since moved to newer platforms like Twitter and Reddit. The following is a not comprehensive list of current blogs highlighting diversity in STEM.

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.