People are invisible for all sorts of reason. Brown people tend to be invisible, unless someone needs a PR picture taken, in which case they are all too visible. When I was a student I was usually invisible, as I was the only woman in my classes.
But there are scientific reasons that make one feel invisible. If you are not part of the currently hot subdiscipline.If you go to a meeting and no one asks you to go have dinner with them. If idiots hiijack beer o’clock, not because there is something interesting scientifically, but because using big words make them feel cool. How can you tell? When you ask for something to be explained and you get a “oh, you wouldn’t understand without taking Bio 9876 or you can’t know until you’ve run a northpole-artic nanocharm gel”.
It’s very hard to maintain a good sense of self in the face of this. Two pieces of advice – keep a copy of Pink’s Fuckin’ Perfect on your phone, and go rent GI Jane. Other suggestions welcome.