Talking Science

August 29, 2011

Torah Kachur



Last weekend a group of talented and nerdy science communications professionals descended on the Banffffff Centre for the Arts for the Wood Dialogue.  This special gathering of 75 alumni of the Science Communications program represented Canada's best chance to actually understand our changing world.


And it also gave us a chance to dance like every molecule matters.


Jay Ingram and Mary Anne Moser spearhead the program that is still a young 6 years old and the participants spend 2 gruelling weeks learning every medium that science can be communicated including improv nights and dancing your PhD.  I completed the program in 2007 and left feeling really really tired, but also inspired to try new ways of talking about science.  That was the origin of the Ss' group first attempt at making science cool - Superhero Science - a weekly podcast of the biology and technology of superpowers.  Okay, so maybe we didn't make science cool and just ended up being even geekier than before but it was fun and we started thinking that we can really have an impact on the way science is understood.  A couple years later and Science in Seconds was launched.


The reunion weekend was full of workshops and brainstorming about how to communicate science better - from newspapers to TV shows.  What we came up with wasn't groundbreaking - 'engage, entertain and explain'  - but what was so unique about the program at Banff is the network of science communicators that have now formed across the country.  We also got a sneak peek at Randall's next video on the ecology of the Alberta Rockies (Randall of Badass Honey Badger fame).


The public must understand science in order to fully grasp the changing world that we live in - from climate change to the new hightech cars.  And there is no one more qualified in Canada to engage the public about all things science than those graduates of the Banff Science Program, including yours truly.



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