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SWCC 2017 Acclaimed Slate: Register Your Vote

  • 25 Jul 2017
  • 15 Aug 2017
  • 5:00 PM
  • electronic


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SWCC Acclaimed Nominees

Eva Everything

Eva Everything has been a freelance science writer/producer for 30 years. She has written and produced science stories, mini-docs, and series for CBC, NewsWorld, and Discovery Channel, including kid’s science show, kids@discovery and Daily Planet’s popular MindBender quiz. She is the author of two all ages, fun, science quiz books, What Does the Moon Smell Like? and What Does the Earth Sound Like?

Eva Everything brought the idea of The People’s Choice Award for Best Science Website to the SWCC Board and got the green light to make it so. The People’s Choice Award comes with bragging rights and the prize of a humourous T-shirt. The award is open to the public for voting and is an opportunity for our association, our members, and others, to showcase their sites and generate some fun and excitement around science and the many ways to communicate it. The first Award, in 2016, was a popular success and as a result, Eva is working to make the 2017 People’s Choice Award even better. Exploring and implementing innovative ways to bring science to the people (and the acknowledgment of content creators) is her mission if she is reelected to the Board of SWCC as a 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.

Why I want to serve on the board:

Having been involved, off and on, with the SWCC since the early 1990s, I believe that the organization is best served by having the active involvement of its members. The West Coast (which is seeing the loss of so many journalism positions) is especially in need of members willing to be active in the organization and help it stand up for Canadian science communicators.

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 I am enthusiastic about applying for a position on the SWCC Board of Directors because SWCC broadly recognizes the work of science communicators. I have been the Secretary for the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Global Network since 2014 (see and I would like to see stronger connections between SWCC and PCST. I am passionate about BC’s coastline and I am looking forward to helping with the 2018 SWCC Conference in BC.

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 (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.

During my previous term on the SWCC board I organized an annual social gathering for members in the Toronto area and helped encourage similar events at other regional centres. In my second year I became closely involved with discussions around the renaming of the CSWA and oversaw the voting process that led to the selection of the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada as the organization’s new name. Since then I have been involved in discussions about the organization’s revised constitution including the establishment of an ethics committee designed to safeguard the association’s core values in support of science communication in the public interest. If elected to a second term on the SWCC board of directors, it is my intention to help better define the role and membership of this committee to ensure that it becomes a robust and valuable component of the association’s governance that helps maintain the association’s value to journalist and non-journalist members alike.

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.

My enjoyment of science storytelling and outreach is what drew me to the SWCC and the support I've found there has encouraged me to give back and, hopefully provide some guidance to the next generation of journalists and communicators.


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.

I’d like to be on the SWCC Board because as science communicators, we have unique opportunities to use our words and wits to convey amazing ideas and inform discussions that have never been more important. Science communication is growing and changing rapidly; I’d like to see our organization become a leader in providing professional development, information, and forums for exchange as we navigate our many paths forward.

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 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.

Why I want to join the board of SWCC:

I want to improve the science conversation. I look forward to the brain-gym experience of working with and learning from others on the board. And I believe my experiences in agriculture and in organizing events will be of value.

Andy Visser-deVries

Andy F. Visser-deVries served as Executive Director of The Canadian Science Writers’ Association for thirteen years from 1991-2004. He was elected to the Board of The Canadian Science Writers’ Association in 2011, serving as Treasurer from 2011-2016. Andy is the Managing Editor of Developing World Bioethics, a journal dedicated exclusively to developing countries’ issues that publishes peer reviewed original articles, case studies, country reports, and book reviews. He is also the sole proprietor of Mistakes Can Happen, a copyediting and proofreading company he established in 2011 after working on staff at Queen’s University at Kingston for seven years.  Born and raised in northeastern Ontario, Andy has lived in Saskatoon, Toronto, Cobourg and Kingston. 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 baroque and classical music and opera, architecture, and world travel. He is a dedicated fan of the television series, “The Big Bang Theory”.


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