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Happy Anniversary, SWCC!

19 Oct 2020 6:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

SWCC Awards (Year Unknown)

On October 15, 2020, Canada marked the 50th anniversary of the invocation of the War Measures Act by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, in response to the kidnappings of James Cross and Pierre Laporte by the Front de libération du Québec. Historians and political scientists still argue about the necessity of Trudeau’s move, but the outcome of another event that happened that day is much less ambiguous – the founding of the Canadian Science Writers Association (CSWA), which has, of course, since morphed into the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC).

The story of how the CSWA/SWCC came to be is told elsewhere on this site by Andy Visser-deVries who himself has played a large role in our organization’s history.

Over the past 50 years, the SWCC has grown into a nation-wide organization of almost 300 science communicators in print, radio, television, web, social media and more. 

As our website notes, we include media professionals, communications officers in science and technology-related institutions, technical writers and educators – all of whom are involved in communicating science and technology to non-specialist audiences. 

SWCC operates several national programs, including its annual conference, which highlights current science and technology issues and brings together scientists, engineers, journalists, communicators, educators, youth and interested citizens. Pre-COVID, the conference was held in a different Canadian city each year, while this year it went online for the first time. Whether virtual or geographical, the conference highlights local developments in science and technology and combines public forums and educational workshops to produce a serious focus on ways of communicating the importance of such developments to the Canadian public with the greatest impact.

Our 50th anniversary committee, led by new SWCC Board member Ki-Youn Kim, has a number of events and projects to mark the first 50 years of the SWCC lined-up, including:

  • Every two months, we will be releasing a new decade for our 50thAnniversary Yearbook, highlighting the growth of the organization and the scientific advances of the decade.

  • To bring our community closer, we will be hosting monthly social Coffee Klatches starting in November (details to follow). Come with a cup of coffee or even a glass of wine to chat with old and new friends in small online groups.

  • Keep your skills sharp and knowledge up to date with online professional development workshops in new media, such as social media and podcasting, and much more.

  • In 2021, we will launch our special science communication lecture series, where we’ll host five trailblazers from the field to share their experiences and insights.

  • Towards the end of our celebration, we’ll reveal our new logo for the Science Writers & Communicators of Canada. Members will be able to order an exclusive enamel pin for the 50th Anniversary.

We’ll be updating you on plans through this website as well as e-mail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Also, feel free to share the celebration with the hashtag #SWCC50. If you’d like to volunteer some of your time or have any suggestions, please reach out to

A big thank you to Ki-Youn and the other members of the 50th anniversary committee – Brigid Prouse, Cristian Zaelzer, Marina Rowbotham, Pippa Wysong and Tim Lougheed. Their energy, innovation and creativity epitomize the spirit of our organization over the past half-century.

It’s a great start to our next 50 years. Happy birthday, SWCC!

Terry Lavender
President, SWCC


P.O. Box 75 Station A

Toronto, ON

M5W 1A2

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