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Effective today, I will be resigning as CSWA President. A number of work opportunities have come up that will require my full attention and would make continuing to contribute as a regular volunteer with the CSWA impossible.
Therefore, I have asked Stephen Strauss, who currently serves as CSWA Vice President, to step in to the President’s role and he has agreed to do so. Pending board approval, Stephen will serve as Acting President at least until our 2012 conference, June 2-5, in Windsor. Stephen’s contribution and sense of vision for science writers in Canada has been invaluable to the CSWA and I support him as a future leader of the organization.
Upcoming CSWA member services and events
I will be proud to continue to be a CSWA Member (as well as serving on the CSWA board as Past President) and will look forward to seeing those of you who can attend at our 2012 conference, June 2-5 in Windsor, ON, and other science writing events in the future.
From when I first met Andy Visser deVries, Michael Smith, Tim Lougheed and Veronique Morin at the CSWA’s 2001 Montreal conference and agreed in 2003 to help a little with their “hand-coded” HTML site, to serving as Science Link Editor, a Board Member, Vice-President, then President, I have been constantly amazed and inspired at the steady progress we’ve been able to make in offering relevant, themed, effective, and energizing services, events, and opportunities to you and more than 600 other members across Canada.
In the coming months, I’m looking forward to seeing a number of services our current board members have completed (or are about to complete) during my 2011/2012 term as CSWA President come to you, including:
• professional development workshops via a series of interactive webinars (watch for dates for these very soon from the CSWA Office)
• a discounted CSWA Member health plan (now available)
• a mentoring program for journalists looking to do more science writing, under the guidance of some of the CSWA’s most experienced members (an initiative the World Federation of Science Journalists has offered to make possible)
• a calendar of future conference venues extending to 2015 (programme & registration for our 2012 conference)
• working with other organizations across Canada and around the world to promote timely communication between journalists and government-funded scientists. Such efforts were recently spotlighted at the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting (the world’s largest general science conference, welcoming thousands of delegates from around the world) in national media outlets ranging from CTV to the CBC to dozens of major print dailies and national outlets from the BBC to the journal Nature
• the CSWA contributed two important panels at AAAS (Government science muzzling and Children’s Writing in today’s market) as well as wildly successful networking party for close to 500 media at Vancouver’s Canvas Lounge
• a world-class slate of panels, tours, and keynotes at our upcoming June conference, including such speakers as GM Canada’s Chief Scientist Dr. Justin Gammage and CBC Radio White Coat, Black Art host Dr. Brian Goldman
See you out there…
To all of you, whether or not I’ve had the chance to speak with you personally: It has been an honour and a privilege for me to serve such a fine organization as the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, and you, its members.
Meanwhile, I’ll look forward to seeing you out there, on the science beat.
As always, all the very best,
Peter McMahon, Canadian Science Writer