President: Douglas Keddy
A passionate storyteller, Douglas Keddy is Western
University’s Research Communications Manager, where he coordinates marketing
and communications activities to position the university’s research locally,
nationally and internationally – often working closely with science journalists.
He also currently serves on Western’s Board of Governors.
In 2016, Douglas brought together colleagues from across the country to found Research Communicators Canada, which aims to support research communications professionals through best practices, networking and professional development opportunities. Together, they hope to raise scientific literacy and awareness of Canadian research.
He similarly sees the SWCC as offering a unique opportunity to build linkages between science journalists and communicators engaged in telling compelling stories about Canadian science. These efforts make our professions, our citizens and our communities stronger.
An avid explorer and global citizen, Douglas has also been fortunate to lead several volunteer and capacity-building initiatives around the world related to research and communications, including roles in Asia and Africa.
Treasurer: Jennifer Gagné
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 Patchen Barss
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: Carolyn Fell
Director: Ivan Semeniuk
Ivan Semeniuk reports on science for Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Ivan has spent his entire career engaged in the public communication of science, beginning with a 15-year stint developing exhibits and programs at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. After earning a Master’s degree in science journalism at Boston University he became a full time producer and on-air contributor to the daily science magazine show @discovery.ca (later Daily Planet) where he was part of the production team for 12 seasons. Ivan turned to print journalism in 2005, first as the U.S. bureau chief for New Scientist magazine and then as chief of correspondents for Nature in 2010. He has been on staff at the Globe and Mail since 2013. He is a former MIT Knight science journalism fellow and associate journalism fellow at Massey College. In 2016 he received the Royal Canadian Institute’s Sandford Fleming Medal for his contributions to the public understanding of science.
Director: Terry Lavender
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 UBC President Santa Ono. I am working on his PhD at Simon Fraser University, where he is exploring the relationship between meditation and technology.
Director: Michelle Riedlinger
I am an Associate Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. I teach science and environmental communication. Before coming to Canada in 2010, I worked in Australia as a science communication professional for over 15 years. I worked on environmental science communication projects focused on climate variability, dryland salinity, catchment management, and river health. While working in Australia, I was also the Regional Coordinator for the Australian Science Communicators Association (an organization with similar goals to SWCC) for eight years (see www.asc.asn.au).
Director: Marg Sheridan
My background is in journalism where I was a National Online Sports Writer but it was later, during a stint with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, that I realized I enjoyed the challenge of taking complicated medical research and finding a way to share it with the general public. This revelation encouraged me to stay in this, and now as a communication coordinator with the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, I get to not only write about medical research and the people behind it, but I get to be hands-on with science outreach in Saskatoon, and provide communications training for our students.
Director: Natasha Waxman
Natasha Waxman has been the Director of Publications at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
in Waterloo since 2009. She and her team create a range of publications
and documents for print and web, aiming to make cutting-edge physics
accessible, vibrant, and even cool. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Inside the Perimeter
magazine. Previously, she was a freelance scientific writer in New York
and Waterloo. She holds a BA from the University of Toronto, and an MFA
from the University of Texas at Austin.
Director: Jay Whetter
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.
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.