Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) each recently announced different initiatives that aim to foster more inclusivity for transgender and nonbinary people.
LLNL is one of 17 U.S. national laboratories entering a partnership with prominent publishers, journals and other organizations in scientific publishing to support name-change requests from researchers on past published papers, lab officials said in a statement last month.
Earlier in the same month, Bauer-Kahan's Assembly Bill 439, which adds a nonbinary gender option on death certificates, was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Bauer-Kahan, whose district includes the Tri-Valley, cited the significance and value of a person's identity in a statement announcing the new law.
"I'm so thankful for the governor's signature and that this bill has become law. For far too long, nonbinary individuals have had their identities stolen from them upon their death. Forcing these individuals to be inaccurately identified, violates their right to equal treatment, and is simply unacceptable" Bauer-Kahan said in a statement.
"AB 439 ensures that nonbinary people will be respected and remembered as who they were," she added.
LLNL officials shared similar sentiments in their own statement detailing the new partnership.
"The importance of identity is a foundational element of any individual," said Tony Baylis, director of LLNL's diversity, equity and inclusion programs. "It provides a perspective of who you are and how others view you. This name change initiative supports researchers and scientists who want to ensure their publications and research represents them in a way that contributes to their identity and well-being."
He added, "LLNL is a proud collaborator along with our 16 other national laboratories and the 13 publishers who have partnered to support this effort, our LGBQT+ community and anyone else that wants to change their name in publications. This initiative demonstrates one example of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at LLNL."
Prior to this effort, researchers would have to initiate name-change requests with each publisher of their past papers. This new initiative aims to streamline the process by offering an official validation mechanism to all involved by enabling researchers to ask their respective institutions to pursue name changes on their behalf directly with the publishers and journals.
"As a trans scientist, having publications under my birth name causes me to have mixed feelings about past work of which I'm otherwise proud," said Amalie Trewartha, research scientist at Toyota Research Institute and materials science research affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
"I am faced with the dilemma of either hiding certain parts of it or outing myself. Having my name updated on my previous publications would be enormously meaningful. It would allow me to make a first impression on my peers primarily through my merits as a scientist and it would allow me to unreservedly embrace and be proud of research from all stages of my career," Trewartha added.
Lab officials said that participating national laboratories will facilitate requests for name changes for any reason, including religious, marital or other purposes, where supported by their publishing partners' policies.
The complete list of participating institutions includes:
*Ames National Laboratory
*Argonne National Laboratory
*Brookhaven National Laboratory
*Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
*Idaho National Laboratory
*Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
*Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
*Los Alamos National Laboratory
*National Energy Technology Laboratory
*National Renewable Energy Laboratory
*Oak Ridge National Laboratory
*Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
*Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
*Sandia National Laboratories
*Savannah River National Laboratory
*SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
*Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Publishing organizations & services
*American Chemical Society
*American Physical Society
*American Society for Microbiology
*Royal Society of Chemistry