Rhonda Moore - President
Rhonda Moore is the Executive Director, Science and Innovation at the Institute on Governance and a contract instructor in Carleton University’s Faculty of Science. Rhonda has worked in policy, research, and communications for almost 20 years, advocating for effective (science) policy and governance through clear and accurate communication.
Science communication is more than simply making science accessible to non-scientists. Done well, science communication helps to build trust and understanding in science, generate support for scientific research, and inform decision-making. Effective science communication is a meaningful and influential part of the ability to do science and a necessary requirement to uphold the social contract between science and society. As an important part of Canada’s science ecosystem, the SWCC is positioned to help mitigate a growing list of social, environmental and economic challenges in Canada and around the world.
Noelle Chorney - Vice President
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 the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University, the University of Western Ontario and York University.
I am currently communications manager for in the Office of the President at the University of British Columbia.
Jay Whetter - Director and Treasurer
Jay Whetter was awarded “Farm Writer of the Year” at the Canadian Farm Writers Federation annual conference in September 2021. This is a new award for CFWF, and Jay is the first winner. This is one of more than 20 farm writer awards Jay has received over the years.
Jay grew up on a farm in Manitoba and has been a farm journalist since 1997. He is the editor of Canola Digest magazine (canoladigest.ca) and writes regularly for Country Guide (country- guide.ca). Agriculture is a business steeped in science. Jay talks to entomologists, soil scientists, plant pathologists and geneticists on a regular basis. Each year, he also edits a Canola Digest Science special and participates (often as a host) in Canola Discovery Forum, a symposium of new and needed research. Jay has experience with various other committees, including 10 years as board executive with Harbourfest in Kenora, four years as president of Kenora Baseball League, three years as president of the Manitoba Farm Writers and Broadcasters Association, and three years on the board of SWCC.
Jay recently took on the role of treasurer of SWCC and he would like one more term to help set up the association for long-term success.
Jane Caulfield, Director
With more than a decade of experience as a professional writer, journalist, and digital content strategist, Jane Caulfield has honed her skills in translating complex stories into memorable narratives both online and offline. She holds BA in physical anthropology from McMaster University, a B. Journalism from the University of King's College, an M.Sc in Marketing. Jane is currently working on a Ph.D. in strategic communications (health communication) from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has worked with several science-based clients helping them share their discoveries, covering a wide variety of topics ranging from agriculture to genetics to veterinary medicine. She is a National Newspaper Award nominee, lecturer at the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, and a part-time potter.
Alice Fleerackers - Director
Alice Fleerackers is an award-winning researcher and freelance writer specializing in science and health communication. Since launching her writing career in 2014, she has worked with an array of clients, including book and magazine publishers, national newspapers, literary festivals, digital marketing agencies, and more. She is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in science and health communication at Simon Fraser University, where she also teaches a science storytelling course. In addition, Alice supports a number of science communication nonprofits, including Science Borealis, Art the Science, the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada, and the Public Communication of Science and Technology Network
Taylor Kann - Director and Co-Chair, Membership-Professional Development Committee
Taylor Kann is a doctoral student studying at Concordia University in the Individualized Program in Humanities. Taylor's research examines media portrayals of the mRNA vaccines developed by pharmaceutical titans Pfizer and Moderna in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A major aim of this study is to examine how the media representations of synthetic vaccines within the context of hype impact audience opinions and perceptions towards the use of synthetic biology tech in medicine currently, as well as in the future. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, I worked as a faculty coordinator at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School. I wish to serve on the board of directors as the SWCC provides unique opportunities for scientific experts, journalists, and communicators of many kinds to collaborate on disseminating science information to the public with critical values of transparency, accuracy, and fairness. All these actors contribute to the production of rigorous science coverage and serving as a member of the board would provide invaluable experiences with the science communication community at large.
Sunita LeGallou - Director, and Chair Awards Committee
Sunita LeGallou is a science communicator and experienced designer with a focus on the intersection of art, science and technology. She is Manager of Creative Experiences at the TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Alberta, where she manages the Infinity Dome Planetarium and the Digital Immersion Gallery. She is also the host and producer of the Music for PhD's podcast. She loves nothing more than a good book and she is proud to be a part of the SWCC's annual Book Awards.
Vanessa Nelson - Director and Co-Chair Membership/Professional Development Committee
Vanessa Nelson is a bilingual communicator with more than 25 years of experience translating often complex information – scientific and other – for the general public. Through her career she has worked with a variety of organizations develop communications materials that were accessible, allowing the public to engage with and understand challenging scientific content to help inform their perspectives and decisions. From writing on topics related to renewable energies to health care to aviation, her goal has always been to create content that was accessible and engaging – making the complex comprehensible for all. As Vice President, External Relations at Let’s Talk Science, she has focused on developing engaging, exciting communications content that excites our audiences – from educators to families, and from government to industry. The mission of Let's Talk Science is to encourage everyone to explore the vast STEM resources available through our organization and foster a culture of scientific literacy in all children and youth in Canada.
Nada Salem - Director, Chair of the Digital Media Committee
Nada Salem is an emerging science writer with a background in cellular biology, nanotechnology, and philosophy. She is the Communications and Campaigns Coordinator at Evidence for Democracy. Her journey in science communications began with photojournalism, videography, and writing for health startups and digital platforms, including Science Borealis.
Since 2020, Nada has served as the Director of Community Development at Emerging Health Leaders (EHL), fostering a community of healthcare leaders, which brings together students and experienced professionals to connect and learn, which are skills and practices she hopes to bring to the SWCC.
Nada believes that effective science storytelling is critical to communicating science and research in a rapidly changing world. She looks forward to exploring ways for the next generation of science communicators to build skills and connections that would help them make an impact.
To see the 2020 Annual General Meeting Minutes, click here.
Want to become involved with the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada? The SWCC has many volunteer opportunities that can help you meet new people, develop new or sharpen existing skills. To learn more, please complete this form. Don't forget to tell us about yourself.
Katelyn is a science communicator and is passionate about all areas of education. She spends her working hours continuing her education, working in data governance and compliance, and managing the SWCC. In her free time she loves to explore, travel, exercise and meet new people.
If you want to chat, you can find her at the other side of our "Contact Us" page.