An Interview with Philip Rodenbough

Current Job: PhD Student _DSC9231 - Copy

Scientific Discipline/Field:  Chemistry / Materials Science

Country: USA

Pick some letters (L,G,B,T,Q etc.): G – Happily married gay man


What does your job involve?

Synthesizing metal oxide materials, characterizing them, testing their catalytic capabilities, occasional trips to Brookhaven National Lab. Research, Research, Research!

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

I applied after my undergraduate degree majoring in Chemistry.

Do you feel being LGBT has affected your career decisions?

My dream is to open a gay bar in West Africa – this was inspired by my time there in the US Peace Corps and the gay West Africans I met there – including my husband!

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

A supervisor once told me to remove from my desk a personal picture of me with my husband because she thought it was inappropriate.

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

Growing up I knew I wanted to excel academically and make an impact, but didn’t really have specific role models. I currently draw inspiration from my West Africa friends who stay so optimistic in the face of so much hardship (poverty, homophobia, political corruption…).

What are your plans for the future?

Graduate, get a job in the city, apply to AAAS/S&TPF and/or PMF/STEM, work for USAID in West Africa on science advising or LGBT advocacy. Open up that gay bar!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Tweet me! @prodenbough