Science is for Everyone

Happy Pride Day and Pride Month! We are grateful that we get to work with such a diverse and wonderful group of artists, scientists, and science communicators every day. Today, we wanted to highlight a couple of members of the Lifeology community.

Fun fact: did you know the Pride Flag originally had 8 stripes? A turquoise and a hot pink stripe used to also join the red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet colors that are on the flag today. The hot pink stripe was dropped because of a shortage in hot pink fabric and the turquoise was dropped as a solution to a flag pole that was obscuring the turquoise stripe; changing to an even number of stripes would solve the issue. The flag that we know today with 6 colored stripes was born! Learn more about the flag designed by Gilbert Baker here.

Keep reading to meet a few Lifeology community members. Follow them on social media and give their work some love!

Gaius Augustus

I’m Gaius, a visual storyteller and multimedia communicator. Oh yeah, I’m also a trans* non-binary queer, and that life experience colors my work in many ways. I’ve often been told that I see things in unique ways, but what I love is to challenge myself and push my boundaries as a storyteller.

To me, the story comes first in any piece. And stories come in all shapes and sizes. We are all storytellers. My specialty lies in the translation or embellishment of those stories into visual media. My time in art school and film university taught me many storytelling skills, but sometimes you learn more through necessity.

As I pursued my PhD in Cancer Biology, I honed those storytelling skills to help me understand my own research. It taught me to pull out the high level concepts while also empowering me to find gaps in knowledge. And, somewhat unexpectedly, my peers were excited to work with me to tell their stories as well.

Being me has always made me stand out, and not always in a good way. I’ve spent a lot of time questioning who I am, but that introspection also gave me peace of mind. It’s never easy being different, but those things that set us apart are actually what makes us strong.

My advice to you:

To other trans* and queer artists, don’t be afraid to share your work.

To allies and accomplices, remember that supporting any minority comes more than just during their “month”.


Gaius has also worked on several Lifeology courses! Check out some of those:

How can I strengthen my immune system against infections?

What is cancer? 

How does cancer grow?

What is immunotherapy?

Natasha Vitkin, MSc, MPH

Natasha Vitkin Headshot
Click for link to infographic description.

Natasha Vitkin is a science communicator passionate about using visual knowledge translation strategies to promote equity and improve population health. She completed her MSc at Queen’s University in cancer immunology and recently obtained her MPH at Simon Fraser University. She currently works as an evaluation analyst at Cathexis Consulting and is a co-owner and senior communicator at Designs that Cell. Her research has been published in numerous journals including the BMJ, Frontiers of Immunology, The American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, and the British Journal of Cancer.

This may be a variation of RuPaul’s famous saying, but Oscar Wilde said “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” You are beautiful and unique just the way you are. The world deserves to know your true self!

Natasha’s Twitter
Designs that Cell

Designs that Cell:

Designs that Cell is a Canadian scientific illustration company specializing in creating custom figures for scientists, clinicians, and trainees. To date, Designs that Cell has created illustrations for over 30 scientific publications, a handful of books, and numerous grant figures. We are the first research-focused scientific illustration company in Canada, and currently conduct our own research on communicating scientific concepts to general audiences.
Designs that Cell is proudly owned by two queer woman scientists. We celebrate diversity and are committed to challenging ableism, racism, classism, transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia to create a safe and inclusive environment for all of our team members, clients, and community members.
Instagram: @designsthatcell
Twitter: @designsthatcell

Caitlin Ray (She/They)

Caitlin is a proudly queer science communicator in Glasgow. They have a background in neuroscience and their SciComm work started off with a strong focus on biomedical science, particularly epilepsy. They now work at Glasgow Science Centre, creating climate science content. 

Learn more about Caitlin’s SciComm Journey here.

Caitlin’s Twitter

“I have found a SciComm community that accepts and supports me as I am. Seek out groups you can engage with either in your area or online. Twitter in particular has been a valuable resource for me. Be your most authentic self and don’t be scared to take up space. Science is for everyone!”