Without a negative vote, all the people running for SWCC board positions for the term 2018-2020 have been approved. And now onward to Vancouver and what looks like a great annual conference.

Stephen Strauss

Past President, Chair of Election Committee



Douglas Keddy 

Douglas Keddy has served as Western University’s Research Communications Manager since 2004, where he helps coordinate communications, storytelling and marketing activities that position the university’s research activities locally, nationally and internationally.

He also founded Research Communicators Canada, which seeks to share best practices, expand networks and facilitate development of the research communications profession to advance institution specific, collective and personal goals, while supporting efforts to increase awareness of Canadian research activities at home and abroad. 

A passionate storyteller who believes strongly in increasing scientific literacy, Douglas is particularly interested in joining the SWCC’s board to bring the perspective of university science communicators, and to attempt to bridge challenges and opportunities facing science journalists and institutional communications professionals.


Michael Dwyer

 In running for the post of Vice President, I want to help the SWCC to discover and realize its potential as an organization that works for its full spectrum of members: journalists, freelance science writers and artists, and communicators working for various science-oriented organizations. 

In recent years I have worked as a public affairs officer at both the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Many of you know me from the CIHR Journalism Awards, a program I developed and ran from 2008 to 2013. In my role as a government science communicator, I have participated in the SWCC since 2006. 

Before joining government I worked as a contractor in the high tech sector, for Cognos Inc. (a major Ottawa software firm) and Bell-Northern Research, the research arm of Nortel Networks, Canada’s greatest (and most tragic ) high tech story. 

My career started off with degrees in Biophysics and Journalism, which led to jobs at the Stratford Beacon Herald (cub reporter) and Computing Canada (assistant editor). 

I would be honoured to work for the SWCC as Vice President, and I ask you to please support my candidacy. 

Michael Dwyer 


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 has been part of the SWCC for more than a decade and is excited about the future of this growing organization. 

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.


Patchen Barss


I’m interested helping the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada lead at a time of accelerating change. 

That means building a community that actively welcomes a rich diversity of science writers. It means offering training, mentorship, and career building. And it means fostering and communicating values that support ethical, honest practices. I’m currently a Board Member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. I’ve worked as a journalist—National Post, Discovery Channel, Scientific American, Nautilus—and as a communicator—Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Council of Ontario Universities. I’ve also done a lot of work that fits neither category—books, videos, websites, museum exhibits, and more. 

I don’t know what comes next. But I do know that success relies on leading change rather than chasing it. I hope to help the SWCC and its members to be leaders in our field.


Carolyn Fell

Director, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Compute Ontario 

As Director, Stakeholder Relations and Communications at Compute Ontario, I create opportunities to bring together stakeholders, government, and media to support Advanced Research Computing. I have 15 years experience in communications, public affairs, and stakeholder outreach.

Prior to joining Compute Ontario, I was with Canadian Beverage Association (CBA). There I was responsible for directing all communications for the association and acted as spokesperson on behalf of the association’s diverse member communities.

I wish to join the Board of Science Writers and Communicators of Canada as I believe in excellence across all fields of communications, and recognise the unique challenges in knowledge translation from scientific concepts into common understanding. As the pace of technological change continues to accelerate, exchanging best practices and championing this work is exceptionally important.

I bring four years of Board experience to SWCC, including two years as treasurer.

SWCC 2017/2018 Committees

2018 Conference Committee:

Central Committee: Chapin Korosec, Alexandra Kasper, Shelley McIvor, Michelle Riedlinger, Janice Benthin, Tim Lougheed

For SFU: Claire Cupples, Susanne Stockdill, Eileen van der Flier-Keller, Rachel Jones

For STAN: Sandra Corbeil, Pauline Finn

For Science World: Pauline Finn, Elizabeth Hand, Jo-Ann Coggan, Sandra Corbeil

The Team:

                        Terry Lavender

                        Sara Boon

                        Mika McKinnon

                        Kylie Williams

                        Marg Sheridan

                        Eve Rickert

                        Theresa Liao

                        Josh Silberg

                        Anne Steino

                        Megan Helmer

                        Lauren Borja

                        Kristina Campbell

                        Alan Shapiro

                        Eric Jandciu


Awards Committee:

Kate Allen chair, Miriam Shuchman, Andy Visser deVries, Brian Owens, Eva Everything, Ivan Semeniuk, Emily Chung, Genna Buck.


Ethics Committee:

Ivan Semeniuk, chair

ED Job Description Committee:

Tim Lougheed chair, Stephen Strauss, Jennifer Gagne, Andy Visser deVries

Membership Committee:

Jay Whetter, chair

Nomination/Election Committee:

Stephen Strauss, chair, Michelle Riedlinger, Terry Lavender

You can log into the member's area of the website at anywhere on our site by clicking the log in button and using your email and password. Once logged in you can access your member profile in the directory and make changes or updates to your profile. And as a member you can access all of our members only services like the membership directory, and subscribe and/or contribute to services like the job opportunity board and the resources forum. You will also receive the occasional direct emails about upcoming events, SWCC awards, and other interesting information. 

Here is an link that gives you more information about how to utilize the members online services:


Don't know your password? Don't like your password? You can reset it by clicking the forgot password button when you log in

If you have any problems or questions contact Janice Benthin at 1-800-795-8595

Upcoming events

    • 12 Apr 2018
    • 9:00 AM
    • 15 Apr 2018
    • 2:00 PM
    • Vancouver

    On The Edge

    Register here for the full conference including all sessions with limited space and additional fees. 

    Everyone is welcome you do not have to be a SWCC member to register for the conference. 

    This year SWCC invites conference registrants to write in a question or ethical dilemma relating to best practices in the field as part of the registration form. From dealing with sources, to conflicts of interest and more, the questions will be taken up by panelists during a special session on ethics and science writing at the conference. (Authorship of questions will be considered anonymous unless otherwise specified.)

    Our STAN partner members automatically share April 12 at Science World and can also register for the rest of the SWCC conference at the SWCC member rate. 

    Additional fees will be charged for specific space limited events. They are available on a first come basis, you will be asked to pay for them as part of the regular registration process. 

    • 12 Apr 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Telus Science World

    If you are not registered for the conference you can still get single tickets to this event.

    $25 - limited number of tickets available

    SciComm Shenanigans: Power Point karaoke

    Ever felt like you were dying a slow painful death by Power Point? At Power Point karaoke we turn tragedy into comedy for some killer laughs. Volunteer members of the audience treat us to a presentation with irreproducible results. Hosts provide a short deck of randomly selected power point slides that the volunteer presenter has never seen before. Voila. It’s flying by the seat of the pants improvised wacky science [fiction]. Join us!

    Lesley Evans Ogden

    Jared Stang 

    Marcello Pavan

Past events

22 Sep 2017 Book Award Presentation Event
20 Sep 2017 Youth Book Awards Presentation
03 Apr 2017 CSWA Constitution Vote 2017
28 Nov 2016 CSWA Runoff Name Vote
14 Oct 2016 CSWA Name Vote
02 Jun 2016 CSWA Conference & Annual Meeting: Guelph 2016
20 Feb 2016 Improv for Science Communicators
25 Jan 2016 data journalism/journalisme des données, 2016
11 Jan 2016 Science Journalism Award Submission, 2016
11 Jan 2016 Science Communication Award Submission, 2016
15 Dec 2015 2016 Herb Lampert Emerging Journalist Award Submission
26 Nov 2015 Pub night Ottawa
20 Nov 2015 Pub night: Vancouver
03 Apr 2015 CSWA 2015 Annual Conference, Saskatoon
19 Jan 2015 Science Journalism Award Submission
19 Jan 2015 Herb Lampert Emerging Journalist Award Submission
19 Jan 2015 Science Communication Award Submission
30 Jul 2014 Science of Beer pub night
26 Jun 2014 CSWA pub night
05 Jun 2014 CSWA 2014 Annual Conference, June 5 - 8
15 Apr 2014 CSWA Board Nominations Open, Deadline April 25
17 Feb 2014 Fast Talker 3 minute thesis competition
01 Feb 2014 Science Journalism Award Submission
01 Feb 2014 Science Communication Award Submission
01 Feb 2014 Herb Lampert Emerging Journalist Award Submission
06 Jun 2013 CSWA 2013 Annual Conference, June 6-9
28 Jan 2013 Understanding Medical Journal Articles & Medical Statistics - Webinar
02 Jun 2012 CSWA 2012 Annual Conference, June 2-5
30 Sep 2011 Coffee with Chris Hadfield
09 Jun 2011 CSWA 2011 Annual Conference, June 9-13