Science Literacy Week is an initiative meant to showcase the excellence of all of Canada's wide range of science and science outreach organizations. Through encouraging them to join together in a blitz of activity and collaborate, particularly in partnership with community groups like libraries, the aim is to reach more people than ever before with outstanding science programming. The week started in 2014 in the GTA, and came to include 4 institutions, and 5 events. For this year, with 160 groups involved, major support from NSERC and Indigo and an estimated 315 events in 50 cities nationally it looks to be its biggest year ever.
At heart, the week aims through libraries to showcase their science collections and encourage people to read something a little different. Rather than Hunger Games and Twilight, we want to see people reading Sacks and Sagan. Events too help reach out to everyone Canada-wide - nature walks, star parties, science demos, public talks - you name it, if it engages the public and celebrates science it's a welcome addition to the week. The week also provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the work of scientists across the country. The website (scienceliteracy.ca) serves as both an events portal to draw people to local activities as well as a centre for finding resources to learn about science - be they books, podcasts, websites or places to conduct citizen science projects of their own. The twitter (@scilitweek) aims to highlight exciting science news, draw people to great resources as well as mention every event happening across Canada. Every participant is encouraged to use the hashtag #scilit16 to share stories, pictures and more about their work, their love of science or to garner attention for events.
With help from NSERC, this can grow to be one of the major pillars of science outreach in Canada. A time when science groups utilize the week to get people talking about science, where major organizations join together in big eye catching events and where Canadians coast to coast take the chance to learn a little more about the world.