2016/17 Board Members
President: Tim Lougheed
I have been a CSWA member for more than 25 years, having been introduced to the organization by one of its founders, the immortal Mack Laing. During most of that time I have been a freelance writer, watching both this profession and CSWA evolve significantly with technology, which has also transformed the economic model for everyone involved in science communications. CSWA continues to find itself in a unique, privileged position of being able to help individuals in this field confront these dramatic changes. As a longstanding member who ascended all the way to the presidency of CSWA, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, but what continues to impress me is the steady progress that has been achieved in recent years. So impressed, in fact, that I find myself eager to return to the front lines, to ensure that such progress continues.
Vice President: Pippa Wysong
Pippa Wysong is a freelance science writer. She wrote the Ask Pippa Q&A science column for kids for the Toronto Star for 20 years, and contributes news stories and features to a variety of newspapers and magazines, as well as medical trades. She was on staff of The Medical Post for 10 years, and was the Canadian correspondent for EuroTimes – a European ophthalmology newspaper. She joined the CSWA when she first broke into science writing a really long time ago, and has been on and off the Board of Directors doing various things during those years.
For the CSWA, she has organized local events for members in Toronto, spoke on panels, and periodically helped organize parts of some of CSWA's national conferences. She feels her experience can help with future activities of the association. She also served on Council for nine years with the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science.
Vice President: Syliviane Duval
Sylviane launched her business in 2003 after working at McGill University and the Royal Architectural Insitute of Canada. She offers research communications and knowledge translation/transfer, project and people management, research facilitation and grant writing, and corporate communications, writing and editing.
Her current client list is mostly made up of university-based research networks, spin-off companies, and professional and knowledge-based organizations in public health, agriculture/genomics and software engineering.Sylviane is a Co-founder of the Knowledge Mobilization Institute and a graduate of the University of Toronto/SickKids's Knowledge Transfer Professional Certificate program.
She is a huge fan of TV’s The Big Bang Theory, whose male characters are accurately modelled on her physicist and engineer colleagues at McGill!Sylviane is practical, resourceful, creative, and an excellent listener—all attributes she would bring to the position of VP, Research Communications.
Treasurer: Jennifer Gagne
Jennifer Gagne is a science communicator who loves creating events for people to discover the wonder of the planet through science. Her favourite tasks involve pulling together programs on shoe-string budgets with a bunch of eager volunteers to create moments of wonder and discovery. She is with Parks Canada in Banff National Park as their in-resort visitor experience officer.
Past science communications adventures include being the Interim Executive Director for the CSWA where she was the lead organizer for the 2015 conference in Saskatoon and being part of TRIUMF's communication team in Vancouver.
She loves the way science communication sparks curiosity and appreciation for our planet, and opens one's mind to ponder our weird, and as of yet, unexplained existence.
Director: Sabrina Doyle
Sabrina Doyle is the New Media Editor at Canadian Geographic, which is really just a fancy way of saying she speaks Internet. She’s in charge of running the daily CG blog, ensuring each printed story in the magazine gets additional online content, and managing the 71,000 member photo club. Before this, she spent a year as the social media editor, freelanced for the Canadian Medical Association Journal and claimed the science beat as a reporter for the Telegraph-Journal daily (not all at the same time of course – there can only be one Ed Yong).
She enthusiastically joined the CSWA in the final months of her journalism undergrad, but lamented the fact that she hadn’t known of its existence earlier. Her goals are to make the CSWA more visible to young science journalists, and create more opportunities for early involvement and lasting engagement.
Director: Eva Everything
I’ve been writing and producing science stories and series for CBC, Newsworld, and Discovery Channel Canada since 1986 and am also the author of two fun science quiz books.
I believe that an unimpeded flow of information from scientists to the people is critical.
Today’s science writers face unprecedented challenges in bringing their stories to the public. Scientific information is often harder to access and there’s less demand for in-depth stories in mass media. Add the evolving role of communications technology to the mix, and the future is less than clear. Despite these challenges, it’s more important than ever for the voice of science to be heard. How can we do that most effectively? How do we advance into the brave new world of science communication? These are the unanswered questions we must explore to ensure the survival of real and honest science journalism.
Director: Kasia Majewski
Kasia Majewski is an experienced public relations professional with a passion for strategic creative solutions that get clients results. She has worked in all areas of public affairs, including strategic communications, media relations, government affairs, writing, marketing and events planning.
As the only social science and arts grad in a family of scientists and mathematicians, Kasia ‘fell into science’ in her first job as a policy analyst in IT and telecommunications and has not left since. She has since developed a wealth of expertise in translating complex ideas
into compelling stories, working with the biotechnology industry (including as editor of BIOTECanada Insights magazine), in the wireless and telecommunications industries, and currently at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Director: Shelley McIvor
Shelley McIvor is inspired by the human experience of science and technology in our accelerated world. Her international consulting practice has helped science and engineering professionals bring relevant content to their audiences since 2004 in a mix of corporate, private, government, and non-profit settings. Shelley merges her BSc in chemistry and MSc in Technical Communication with a hybrid toolbox of multi-disciplinary practices— knowledge translation, technical writing, document design, instructional design, user experience, project management and quality management systems. She provides communication strategy to technology start-ups and mature organizations.
Her nomadic nature has led to exploratory work-life adventures in 40 countries over two decades. Currently based on Vancouver Island, Shelley’s most recent venture is the Vancouver-based scicomm collaboration, Curiosity Collider, which sparks innovative interdisciplinary ways to experience the daily relevance of science. A member of CSWA since 2012, she advocates for active mentorship programs to foster lasting connections and membership growth.
Director: Brian Owens
I am a freelance science journalist based in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. I started my career in the UK, as reporter and editor for the policy magazines Research Fortnight and Research Europe, and for the journal Nature. I now write and edit for a variety of publications in Canada, the US and the UK. As a member of the board of directors, I would like to try and find ways to make membership more valuable and tangible for those of us who live and work far from the centre of gravity in Toronto, through smaller informal regional meet- ups or events.
Director, Journalist: Ivan Semeniuk
Ivan Semeniuk reports on science for The Globe and Mail. A long time science journalist and broadcaster, his previous roles include field producer and columnist for Discovery Channel’s science magazine show Daily Planet, U.S. Bureau Chief at NewScientist magazine and (U.S.) Chief of Correspondents at Nature news. He a regular columnist for SkyNews magazine, the writer and host of the astronomy series Cosmic Vistas on Oasis TV (Now Love Nature) and he has written features for Astronomy magazine, Sky & Telescope and Cosmos, among other publications. Before turning to science journalism full time he spent 15 years developing exhibits and programs at the Ontario Science Centre. In one form or another he has been communicating science and science policy to a public audience for the past 29 years. He holds an undergraduate degree in astronomy and physics from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in science journalism from Boston University. In 2007 he was named a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Director: Miriam Shuchman
MIRIAM is a freelance physician-journalist and a research ethics wonk. She writes for the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) and the Walrus, and she’s also been a national correspondent for the New England Journal of Medicine, a health columnist for the Globe & Mail and a regular commentator for CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks. Her coverage of a science scandal in Toronto culminated in a 2005 book for Random House Canada that won the Science in Society Book Award from the Canadian Science Writers' Association, and the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing from the Writers' Trust of Canada. In her other life Miriam is associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and a mother of 3 teenagers.
Director: Kate Allen
Kate Allen has written about science and technology for the Toronto Star's foreign desk since 2012. Her stories about autism research were part of a team nomination for the Michener Award, the governor-general's prize for public service journalism, and the National Newspaper Awards. Her beat has taken her to the fossil-filled badlands of Alberta, a Japanese jellyfish research cruise, the articficial intelligence labs at Google, the inside of a a dead blue whale, and the telescopes at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Before coming to the science beat, she covered news and fearures for the Star's city desk. She has also worked or freelanced for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, Reader's Digest, and the Vancouver Sun, among others. She has a Masters of Journalism from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of King's College.
Executive Director: Janice Benthin
Based in Montreal, Janice has a diverse background in scriptwriting, media production and nonprofit management. Her management experience includes a five-year stint as training director for the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in Iqaluit, Executive Director for the International Centre of Films for Children and Young People and Director of Operations for the Grande Prairie Educational Cable Consortium. She's been a humour columnist for three weekly newspapers, a radio commentator, a playwright and the researcher, writer, and producer for many award winning documentary programs. She’s made documentaries for NFB, CBC, PBS, APTN, SCN, ARD, BBC, ABC "and a whole bunch of other letters too," She’s an alumnus of the Banff Centre Science Communications program and has also completed the master program in Comic Scriptwriting at Humber College, "just for the fun of it." Janice is also an active scuba diver, an avid knitter, and keen consumer of science writing in all its forms. She was a CSWA member for several years before taking on the role of Executive Director.