Rhonda Moore - President
Rhonda Moore is the Senior Practice Lead for 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 - 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.
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.
Amanda Hall - Director
Amanda Hall is a Medical Communications Manager at a boutique life science consulting firm with a passion for medical and scientific communications. As a woman of colour in STEM, she has always had a deep yearning to encourage new and aspiring writers, especially other women of colour, who are often underrepresented in the field. Based on her experience and expertise, Amanda will serve on the Science Writers & Communications of Canada (SWCC) Board of Directors through mentoring new and aspiring writers.
Nicole Imeson - Director
Nicole Imeson is a mechanical Professional Technologist of Engineering working in building services in Calgary, AB. In her role as mechanical engineering associate, she oversees the construction of plumbing, HVAC, and fire protection systems in new and renovated buildings across Western Canada. She also hosts and produces a podcast about engineering failures called Failurology.
Nicole first became involved with the SWCC in March 2021 when she volunteered with the digital marketing committee for the 2021 conference. One of her favourite things about the science writer’s community is that we all come from different science backgrounds and bring diverse experience and knowledge to the table. Nicole wishes to serve on the SWCC Board of Directors to continue to advocate for science and the people who write/communicate about it.
Taylor Kann - Director
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.
Ki-Youn Kim - Director, 50th Anniversary
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, Book Awards
Sunita LeGallou is the producer and host of the podcast Music for PhDs. With a background in science, and a lifelong love of the arts, she live-paints to classical music. As the Digital Program Manager for TELUS Spark Science Centre, she uses digital media to spark joy through science.
Vanessa Nelson - Director
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.
Cristina Sanza - Director, Digital Marketing
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.
Richard Zurawski - Director
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.
To see the 2020 Annual General Meeting Minutes, click here.
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.