What is it about a genre that’s so often seen as a boys’ club that’s been able to foster more women, minorities and people from underrepresented backgrounds in science and technology?
It’s a problem that’s largely been ignored in the past, but thanks to a new documentary series, the genre is starting to look more like the world we want it to be.
In the new series, Black Science, Black Girls: Stories of Women, the series explores how women of color have found a place in science-fiction and fantasy writing for the first time in history.
And they’ve found a lot of joy, too.
“There’s something about the world that’s a little more welcoming of people who look like you and fit into your world,” Black Science executive producer Laura Dern told The Huffington Post.
“It’s like, ‘Wow, I’m not the only person who has the same thing.'”
In fact, she said, there’s something so “diverse” about a world where people from all walks of life, races, and religions — and all shapes and sizes — can come together to create something that’s more powerful than anyone imagined possible.
“When I first started reading science fiction, I thought that science fiction would be dominated by white men, and now I’m surprised that it’s actually more diverse than that,” Dern said.
“I’m surprised by the number of diverse people who are involved with science fiction and fantasy.”
The series features interviews with prominent women scientists and scientists from under represented groups, as well as people who have been working in the field for years.
One interviewee, the writer and director of the popular Black Science podcast, Blackgirl: Stories Of Women, said she is excited to be a part of Black Science.
“This is my first foray into the world of science fiction,” she said.
“‘Black Science’ has been around for over 30 years, and it has not only been a space for the people who read science fiction to talk about race and diversity, but it’s also been a place for people to come together as a group and talk about the science fiction we love.”
Another woman scientist, Black Girl: Stories And The World Of Black Science creator Laura Denton, said that she was excited to have an audience of people of all backgrounds in the same room.
“The world that Black Science represents is a world that we can all be proud of,” she told The HuffPost.
“We are all in this together, and we are all people of the same color.
I love this world because it’s one that is inclusive of all of us.”
The show also focuses on the people working in science writing, as Dern noted that it is important to show the diversity of the genre.
“Black Science is about the voices of people from different walks of science who are passionate about their work and they care about their audience,” she added.
“If you’re a scientist or a person who works in science, you’re going to want to see this show.
It’s about that, not just the diversity, not simply the race.
This is an opportunity to make sure that we are telling stories that are about diversity and inclusion.”
Black Science premieres on Netflix on June 22, 2019.