An interview with Ewan Soubutts

Name: Ewan SoubuttsEwanSoubutts

Current Job: Student – Masters in Human Computer Interaction at the University of Bath as of October 2017

Scientific Discipline/Field: Computer Science

Country: United Kingdom

Pick some letters: B

Website: I suppose this is the most entertaining – my YouTube channel I started back in ’15 on the Scientific Study of the Future. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz_-JBp-if3pnxrgDU8EWzw

Twitter or other social media handle@Ewan_ness

What does your job involve?

Using Psychology and Design principles to inform the evaluation and enhancement of computer systems. (We make cool, new ways of interacting with technology 🙂 )

How did you get to this job (education etc.)?

Before starting this masters I worked doing web design and development in the South West which informed my decision to want to go and learn how to make better computer interfaces.

Do you feel being LGBT has affected your career decisions?

Yes, but in a positive way. A lot of the career decisions I’ve made have been because I have wanted to work with a diverse and open minded group of people. A University setting is naturally the most favourable location for this, but I have found in my previous jobs, that I’ve made the decision to apply to work at a company largely based on its policies towards inclusivity – which isn’t always easy!

Have you had any reactions from colleagues about being LGBT, either good or bad?

The first company I worked for after completing my Bachelor’s degree was a largely hetero-dominant office and really didn’t promote a feeling of support. Suffice it to say, I left quite soon after. Ever since then I’ve worked in public sector roles and have felt very supported and have only received positive reactions about being LGBT.

Did you have any role models growing up (LGBT, STEM, totally unrelated…)?

As a Computer Scientist, an obvious one is Alan Turing! Though I wouldn’t say he was so much of a role model as someone who gave me encouragement that our work in the CS field is recognised – and he’s already synonymous with the LGBT community.

What are your plans for the future?

For my Masters dissertation, I’m looking at doing a study into Technology-Enhanced Community Building for LGBT people. We have a lot of apps for dating and not really any technology that supports building a better LGBT community – and I hope that it could help to combat some of the bigger issues in our community i.e. Trafficking, Racial Inequality, LGBT Isolation. (I’m thinking about a PhD too!)

Anything else you’d like to add?

Just that anyone who is seeking to go into the STEM field shouldn’t be discouraged if they identify as LGBT. It’s important that we are represented equally in any field and it can be difficult to acknowledge that we are valid in Science and Engineering fields when the majority of our peers might not be LGBT. It’s important to be the change!

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