I have been a communicator for more than 30 years; beginning my career at a lively tabloid in North Vancouver where I combined the roles of sports editor, municipal politics reporter and wine and food critic. Since then I have spent most of his time in university communications, working for UBC, University of Toronto, SFU, York and Western.
I am currently communications manager for in the Office of the President at the University of British Columbia.
Richard Zurawski - Vice President
I am a professional science writer and communicator, and have been for four decades, in all media (print, radio, TV, internet, lecture halls, keynotes, and academic papers). My efforts to understand how people perceive the sciences have led me from the practice of science writing and communication, into teaching, and then into a formal academic of the study and research.
Pseudo-science and junk science, brought about by vested interests, has flooded inexorably into education, medicine, technology, climate change, and virtually every science. We now have to contend with a rising tide of public scientific ignorance that was once unthinkable. In this setting, the role of organizations like the SWCC is clear: to provide a haven and support for those who practice science writing and communications. Through the SWCC directorship I hope to work with other science writers and communicators so that we can learn from each other how to accomplish this.
Jay Whetter - Treasurer
I have been a farm journalist since 1997. I worked for Farm Business Communications in Winnipeg for 12 years and have been with the Canola Council of Canada the past seven years. I write and edit canolawatch.org and Canola Digest magazine. I talk to entomologists, soil scientists, plant pathologists and geneticists on a regular basis. Each year, I also edit a Canola Digest Science special and co-organize Canola Discovery Forum, a symposium of new and needed research.
I also have experience with various other committees, including 10 years as board executive with Harbourfest in Kenora and three years as president of the Manitoba Farm Writers and Broadcasters Association.
Patchen Barss - Director
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.
Alice Fleerackers - Director
Alice Fleerackers is a freelance writer and researcher specializing in online health and science communication. Currently, she is a researcher and lab manager at the ScholCommLab, the Research Officer at Art the Science, and a Science in Society Editor at Science Borealis.
She is also pursuing a PhD at Simon Fraser University, where she is exploring how uncertain health science is communicated online. With a background in psychology and publishing, Alice is passionate about bringing research into everyday life. She’s contributed to outlets such as the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and Nautilus, covering everything from the psychology of cat video addiction to the science behind astrological belief.
Ki-Youn Kim - Director
Ki-Youn Kim is a science communicator based in Ottawa. Her passions lie in evidence-based science communication, in which she uses her skills to train scientists and deliver workshops on how to do 'SciComm'. Most of her work is at the intersection of science and creativity: infographics, presentation design, social media, and podcasts. Every Sunday, you'll find Ki-Youn on Twitter tweeting her weekly #SciCommSunday content.Ki-Youn holds two BScs in Biology (Queen's University) and Neuroscience (Carleton University) and a Master's in Science Communication (Laurentian University). She currently works at the Chemical Institute of Canada as the Community Development Coordinator.
Sunita LeGallou - Director
Rhonda Moore - Director
Inspired by my experience as co-chair of the 2017 annual conference in Ottawa, I want to serve the SWCC by lending my unique skills and experience to increase the visibility and reach of this important organization in the Canadian science ecosystem.
Rhonda Moore is Senior Advisor, Science and Innovation at the Institute on Governance. For more than 15 years she has had one foot in policy & research and one foot in science & research communications, promoting a message that effective (science) policy requires clear communication.
A few of Rhonda’s science or research communications accomplishments include:
Cristina Sanza - Director
Cristina Sanza is a Digital Journalism Instructor in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. There, she is the Associate Editor of The City, the department’s multimedia digital magazine that is produced throughout the undergrad program’s capstone course. Cristina also manages the Concordia Science Journalism Project team and coordinates the Projected Futures international science journalism graduate summer school. She is interested in new forms of journalism storytelling and production, particularly when it comes to scientific and health topics. Cristina has worked as a small-town community journalist, a multimedia content producer in healthcare communications, and as a freelancer. Outside of journalism, Cristina enjoys playing music, tackling a heavy deadlift and developing recipes for baked goods.Website: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/cristinasanza
Marg Sheridan - Director
While I developed my writing style as a sports writer and editor, it wasn't until I'd transitioned out of journalism that I found myself enjoying the challenge of tackling science communications.
A position with the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan not only introduced me to the SWCC, but gave me the opportunity to use my knack for storytelling to share the important medical research being done at the college, and the stories driving the researchers. My blatant lack of science education has helped me to make sure that the complicated information I'm transcribing is written in a way that is easy to understand - because if I can't understand what I'm writing, my reader won't understand it either!
I now live, and work, in Ottawa and continue to believe in the power communicators have in creating a better, healthier, world.
To see the 2020 Annual General Meeting Minutes, click here.
Nikki is a science communicator and informal educator who enjoys talking about dinosaurs, exploring the outdoors with tiny humans, performing on stage and solving calculus problems. She spends her working hours training researchers, developing educational programs, and managing the SWCC. In her nerdy free time, she continues to work on her sci-fi novel (#womeninscience), hand-builds pottery, and restores furniture & electronics.
If you want to chat, you can find her at the other side of our "Contact Us" page. If you have some free time, she encourages you to Google Science Slam Canada and Interpretation Canada - two initiatives that are very near and dear to her heart!