Stephen Strauss 
President, president@sciencewriters.ca

Stephen wrote articles, columns and editorials about science and technology for the Globe and Mail for more than 20 years.

He has also authored three books, several book chapters, and for his efforts received numerous awards.

Through all his time in journalism, he still remains smitten by the enduring wisdom of the motto of Austrian writer Karl Kraus: Say what is.
(Excerpted from his bio on CBC.ca, where he has a regular column on Analysis & Viewpoint.)

Jude Isabella

Vice-President, Journalist

A journalist for over two decades, Jude Isabella has spent the bulk of her career as managing editor of YES Mag, a Canadian science magazine for kids. As a freelance writer, she has written for publications that include The Walrus, Reader’s Digest, Archaeology Magazine, New Scientist, The Loh Down on Science, BBC Wildlife Magazine, and BC Magazine. As well, Isabella is a semi-regular contributor to The Tyee, Vancouver’s online magazine, covering science and environment. She continues to write science for kids; her fifth book (Kids Can Press, Chit Chat: A Celebration of the World’s Languages) is scheduled for a Fall 2013 release. A book for grown ups, Salmon: A Scientific Memoir, will be published in 2013 by RMB Publishing. Isabella is currently working on a interdisciplinary master’s degree in anthropology and writing at the University of Victoria.

Sylviane Duval
Vice-President, Research Communications

cswa_2013_election_sylviane_duvalSylviane 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!

Andy Visser-deVries

Andy F. Visser-deVries served as Executive Director of The Canadian Science Writers’ Association from 1991-2004, and was first elected to the Board of The Canadian Science Writers’ Association in 2011, serving as Treasurer. Andy is Managing Editor of Developing World Bioethics, a journal dedicated exclusively to developing countries’ issues that aims to provide case studies, teaching materials, news in brief and peer reviewed original articles. He is sole proprietor of Mistakes Can Happen, a copyediting and proofreading company he established in 2011.  Born and raised in northern Ontario, Andy has lived in Saskatoon, Toronto, Kingston and Cobourg. He is a graduate from the University of Saskatchewan and Queen’s University at Kingston with an education in business administration, theology, and world religions. An avid reader and book collector, Andy also enjoys classical music, architecture, travel, cooking, and gardening, and is a dedicated fan of the television series, “The Big Bang Theory”.

Emily Chung
Board member

Emily Chung for CSWAEmily Chung is the science and technology journalist for CBCNews.ca and an occasional producer for CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks. She has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of British Columbia. Emily has been involved in the CSWA since 2003, when she received the Herb Lampert Award at the annual conference in Saskatoon. She was on the organizing committee for the Ottawa conference in 2010 and has enjoyed many CSWA pub nights in both Ottawa and Toronto. She has previously volunteered in leadership roles in other non-profit organizations such as the Ottawa section of the Alpine Club of Canada.

Lesley Evans Ogden
Board member

LJEO headshotCrossing the bridge from scientist to communicator following a PhD and postdoc in wildlife ecology, I made the leap to full-time freelancing following online journalism courses, the Banff Centre’s Science Communications program, and a year with the Science Media Centre of Canada. Now a Contributing Science Writer at Natural History magazine, I have been published by Nature, CBC, Scientific American, YES Mag, Canadian Running, Cosmos, Bioscience, and Experimental. I received a CIHR journalism award in 2011.

Joining CSWA at the 2011 Calgary meeting, I anticipated an environment of competition and egos. Instead I found a welcoming, collaborative group, supportive of science communications careers across Canada and beyond. I’m grateful for the opportunities and camaraderie that the CSWA has afforded me, and as a Board Member, two key areas I advocate for are open access to scientific journals for journalists, and press freedom and transparency of government science.

Tim Lougheed
Board member

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI 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.


Board member

Dr. Miriam Shuchman_photoMIRIAM 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.

Statement: As a long-standing member of the CSWA, I’m proud of the organization for taking a strong stand on the need for transparency around science. We’ve spoken out and we’ve been heard. As a director, I bring my passion for that issue and I’m prepared to continue our work to free Canadian scientists to talk to reporters. I also work to increase our visibility and networking opportunities.

Colin Schultz

Board Member

Colin Shultz, web-obessed freelance science journalist

Colin Shultz, web-obessed freelance science journalist

Colin is a freelance science writer, editor, and videographer based in Guelph, Ontario. He covers the science behind the news for Smithsonian Magazine’s newest blog, Smart News, and writes about everything from earthquakes to solar flares for the American Geophysical Union. Colin was previously an intern for Daily Planet, and his freelance writing has appeared in Scientific American, Discover, New Scientist, and others. On top of writing about science, Colin also likes to write about writing about science. His work on science communication theory has been discussed widely online, and one of his essays has been adapted for a textbook for high school students.

As a member of the web-obsessed generation, he spends far too much time tweeting, blogging, tumbling, and other activities that involve glaring at glowing pixels. Thankfully, other people seem to think those activities are worthwhile, and over the past few years, Colin has become increasingly engaged and connected with Canadian scientists and science communicators.


Jennifer Gagné

JenniferGagneJennifer Gagné is a science communicator who loves the way well-communicated research sparks curiosity and appreciation for the planet, and opens people’s mind to ponder our weird, and as of yet, unexplained existence.

Too interested in any one topic to become a scientist, she went into journalism, and has been blessed to work along researchers in her career as a science communicator. Her work in the field has ranged from web management to coaching and mentoring researchers to be better writers and speakers, organizing public science events, and running TRIUMF’s Artists in Residence program which pairs physicists with fine arts university students.

A CSWA member since her post-secondary days, she looks forward to the conference each year as the “family reunion” of fellow science writers and communicators from across the country. She is thankful for such a wide-reaching and long-standing organization and is proud to be able to now contribute as a board member.

In her spare time, she’s been known to read century-old medical stories, climb boulders, and organize. Ooh, does she ever love to organize.

Asher Mullard


Asher Mullard is a freelance science journalist who writes about biomedical research, drug discovery, clinical trials, the biotech industry and much more. He worked on various Nature publications for over 7 years, and is currently a contributing editor for Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. He also writes for The New Scientist, The Lancet and others.

 Asher studied biochemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, and worked in academic and industry research labs in both Canada and the UK. Eventually the pipetting became too much, and he turned to the pen.

Kasia Majewski

Kasia Majewski picKasia 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.


Peter McMahon
Past President
peter_mcmahon_bio_image_2013Peter McMahon is an award-winning science journalist who has worked/written/produced science stories, documentaries, magazine columns and cover stories for Discovery ChannelCTV News (where he has reported online from the 2010 Olympics and currently serves as an occasional TV science commentator), The Toronto Star, CAA,Frommer’s TravelCanadian GeographicToday’s Parent, Air Canada’s in-flight magazine enRoute, and Sky News: The Canadian Magazine of Astronomy and Stargazing where he writes the magazine’s “Wilderness Astronomer” column each issue and serves as a contributing editor.
An avid “wilderness astronomer” , Peter was the first to propose that Jasper National Park become a dark sky preserve, and worked with Parks Canada to have it designated the world’s largest astronomy park, as of March 2011.
In 2013, Canadian Space Agency scripts that Peter wrote and “flew” on the International Space Station with Chris Hadfield got millions of views on YouTube (…..Chris likely also played a role in this success…)
Peter has spoken on science communication and astronomy at countless universities, science centres, conferences, and national parks, as well as delivering science communication workshops at Science Communication programs at Science North/Laurentian University and the prestigious Banff Centre.
Most recently, he has become the co-owner/co-presenter of The Peterborough Planetarium and is finishing work on his third book – a children’s guide to space tourism – due to be published by Kids Can Press in Fall of 2015.
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