Projected Futures 5 is an intensive and experiential summer school that will challenge participants to rethink how science is communicated with society. Graduate students will be exposed to the foundations of evidence-based science journalism and then asked to experiment to create new forms of scientific storytelling.
The school issues a collaborative, experimental challenge to participants:
Show us and the world in two weeks!
One of a Kind Experience A first of its kind in the Department of Journalism, Projected Futures was designed with the World Federation of Science Journalists and the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada. Student work will be presented at a Science Journalism Summit on August 12.
AudienceLocal, national and international graduate students from any discipline with an interest in new forms of scientific storytelling and interdisciplinary experimentation. Those interested in communicating about health and medicine, in particular, should apply.
Academic LeaderDavid M. Secko, Ph.D.
Chair of Journalism and Professor
The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) is pleased to announce the list of finalists for the 2021 Book Awards.
For the general category:
Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest
Written by Suzanne Simard (Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada)
Science Goes Viral: Captivating Accounts of Science in Everyday
Written by Joe Schwartz (Publisher: ECW Press)
Beyond Banting: From Insulin to Islet Transplants, Decoding Canada’s Diabetes
Written by Krista Lamb (Publisher: Rock’s Mill Press)
For the children’s category:
Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer
Written by Donna Sandstrom, Illustrated by Sarah Burwash (Publisher: Kids Can Press)
Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats: Urban Ecology, Community Science, and
How We Share Our Cities
Written by Cylita Guy, Illustrated by Cornelia Li (Publisher: Annick Press)
The Wolf Mother
Written by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), Illustrated by Natasha Donovan
(Publisher: Portage & Main Press)
Please stay tuned for an announcement about the winners in summer 2022, including SWCC’s newest award: The Paradigm Prize for underrepresented perspectives in science writing.
For more information, please contact:
Katelyn Brown, General Manageroffice@sciencewriters.caWebsite: https://sciencewriters.caFollow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook
The Science Writers & Communicators of Canada (SWCC) was founded in 1970 as the Canadian Science Writers’ Association by a small group of science and medical reporters who recognized their role in helping other Canadians better understand rapid changes occurring in our world. Today, we are a national association that welcomes 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.
Banff Centre has just launched two upcoming Literary Arts programs; Computational Writing and Literary Journalism. Please find the program details below and should you have any questions or know anyone who may be interested, kindly get in touch.
Computational Writing 2022 | In Person
This self-directed residency will allow writers to explore working at the intersection of computing and literary art, not only by using pre-developed tools but also by directly undertaking programming. The residency will consider how computation can be means for reflecting on one’s own writing process as well as for processing anything from small, curated collections of words to large text corpora. This program provides thematic teaching from faculty members Lillian-Yvonne Bertram and Nick Montfort, along with Q&A sessions, public events, and one-on-one workshopping.
*Financial Aid of 100% is available to cover tuition, and 50% is available to offset food and accommodation costs.
Program Dates: April 25 – May 7, 2022
Application Deadline: February 9, 2022
Please visit the program page to learn more and apply.
Literary Journalism 2022 | In Person
This two-week residency encourages the exploration of new ideas in journalism and experimentation in writing. Designed to challenge and stimulate, the program aims to inspire creative pieces of nonfiction and to assist the writers in their completion. Faculty members Charlotte Gill, Carol Shaben, and Michael Harris will discuss ideas, experiences, and obstacles that participants may be encountering with their literary journalism. Writers will have time to work on their manuscripts, receive individual consultations with faculty, and participate in group discussions.
*Successful applicants will receive 100% scholarship to cover tuition, on-site accommodation, and on-site meals.
Program Dates: July 4 - 16, 2022
Application Deadline: March 9, 2022
Please visit the program page to learn more and apply.
Our ultimate goal through the COVID-19 pandemic is to keep our community healthy and safe while we serve our artists, leaders, guests, and audience members. With this in mind, our programs are subject to change with the everchanging landscape that we currently face, and more details on our COVID-19 protocols can be found online here.
It's been my privilege to serve as president of the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada for the past 21 months, a role I'll be relinquishing at the Annual General Meeting on October 5.
It's been an eventful 21 months, dominated by the pandemic, of course, but also overlapping with the SWCC's 50th anniversary celebrations.
As I prepare to step down, and knowing that Thanksgiving is just a few days away, I'd like to give thanks to everyone who has helped make my tenure as president a smooth one. (I won't mention names because I would inevitably omit someone.)
First, heartfelt thanks to the members of the Board for your hard work, dedication, and friendship.
Thanks to the committee chairs and committee members. Your work is often invisible, but it shouldn't be unacknowledged. Whether organizing the annual conference, rejuvenating the membership, running the book awards or handling digital media -- you provide the services that keep us relevant to our membership.
Thank you to past presidents and board members for your wisdom, historical knowledge and patience in answering sometimes silly questions.
Thanks to our bookkeeper, and to our former and current general managers, for keeping the SWCC running smoothly.
Thank you to our sponsors, who have faith in us and our goals.
And finally, thank you, our members, for your involvement and commitment.
Looking at the list of board members who are staying on, and the ones who will be presenting themselves for your ratification at Tuesday's meeting, I believe that we are well positioned to begin our next 50 years with a diverse combination of experience, enthusiasm and energy.
It’s been a privilege to have served you as president. Thank you for providing me with that opportunity.
I’m delighted to introduce Katelyn Brown as the new SWCC General Manager.
Katelyn joined us starting August 1, 2021 and will transition into the role as current General Manager Nikki Berreth prepares to return to school (and to work on her novel) in September.
We’ll miss Nikki, who has been a steady hand on the SWCC tiller since 2019 and wish her all the best in the future. Nikki: we hope you can come to the 2022 annual conference so we can say a proper goodbye and thank you!
Katelyn, who attended McMaster University, comes to the SWCC from the World Molecular Imaging Society, where she was previously the sales and society relations manager. I’ll let Katelyn describe herself:
My name is Katelyn Brown and I am delighted and grateful for the opportunity to join the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada team! I am excited to use my skills and experience to connect and foster growth in all areas of science throughout Canada and beyond by building a strong sense of community and value. I am hopeful to engage with current members and future prospects through traditional communications and social media.
I look forward to making this transition as seamless as possible for everyone, as well as developing strong relationships with everyone. If there is ever any pertinent information that I need to know, please always feel free to reach out. I am very grateful for the opportunity and look forward to meeting you all!
Katelyn and Nikki will be working together during the transition over the coming few weeks, before Katelyn takes over sole responsibility for the role on September 1. As usual, if you need to contact us, please use the email@example.com email address.
The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 SWCC Book Awards.
Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom
Relax, Dammit!: A User’s Guide to the Age of Anxiety
Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planet
Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives
This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes: How Science is Tackling Unconscious Bias
Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You've Never Heard Of
SWCC would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Timothy Caulfield, Heather Tekavec, and Susan Batori. The two winning entries will each receive a $1,000 prize.
On behalf of the Book Awards Committee, we also want to acknowledge the volunteer judges for their time, effort, and thoughtful deliberations over the past five months.
We look forward to reviewing more outstanding examples of science writing when the competition reopens for submissions in September 2021.
TIMOTHY CAULFIELD is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science, and health policy issues has allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Trudeau Foundation, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently for the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness, and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash. Caulfield also has a strong social media presence and is the host and co-producer of the documentary TV series, A User's Guide to Cheating Death. (Source: Penguin Random House Canada, 2021)
HEATHER TEKAVEC discovered while working as a preschool teacher that children's books were a lot more fun than adult books. In addition to books, Heather enjoys writing short stories, articles and poems for children's magazines, such as CRICKET, Chirp, Highlights and Totline, and has delved a few times into writing scripts and directing live theater. Heather lives in Cloverdale, British Columbia.
SUSAN BATORI is a Hungarian illustrator, graphic designer, and character design addict. Watch out — no one, not even her boyfriend or cat, is safe from becoming a funny character in an illustration. If you aren’t careful, she just might use you as inspiration. (Source: Kids Can Press, 2021)
Nikki Berreth, our amazing general manager, will be leaving us in September to return to school. Nikki has guided us well over the past few years, and we will miss her very much and wish her all the best in the future.
Because we are losing Nikki, the SWCC is in need of a new general manager. It’s a part-time, contractual position and should appeal to someone seeking flexibility, the freedom to work from home (or a coffee shop, a park bench or anywhere), and someone who likes working with volunteers, with writers and communicators and someone who is passionate about science.
Thank you to everyone who sent us an application. The position closed on June 11.
This week, I’d like to say farewell and thank you to two departing board members and welcome to two new board members.
Michael Robin, the former chair of the membership committee, and Shirene Singh, who served on the same committee, have both stepped down from the board. Michael and Shirene – thank you for your service.
And a warm welcome to new board members Noelle Chorney and Alice Fleerackers. Noelle is a writer and consultant based in Saskatoon, and the leader of Tall Order Communications. Alice is a researcher, freelance writer and editor and a student at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, where she is pursuing a PhD in science and health communication. I’m looking forward to working with both Noelle and Alice in the coming months. You can read the bios of all the board members at sciencewriters.ca/board-members
If you’re interested in joining the board, nominations are now open for the 2021-2023 term and will close on October 4, 2021. Getting involved with the SWCC is a great way to hone your skills, to network, to add to your resumé, and it can be a lot of fun as well. You can find details on the nomination process here.
Today, May 3 is World Press Freedom Day, a time to reflect on the value and necessity of free, unfettered media.
As the United Nations puts it:
The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada holds as one of its principles that we support “the democratic principles that protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”
Freedom of the press is precious, and it is precarious. Let us celebrate and honour the journalists who keep us informed and empowered.
Learn more about World Press Freedom Day here.
The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) is pleased to announce the list of finalists for the 2020 Book Awards.
Written by Timothy Caulfield (Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada)
Written by Daniel J. Levitin (Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada)
Written by Ian Mosby, Sarah Rotz, and Evan D.G. Fraser (Publisher: University of Regina Press)
Written by Heather Tekavec, Illustrated by Susan Batori (Publisher: Kids Can Press)
Written by Helaine Becker, Illustrated by Kari Rust (Publisher: Kids Can Press)
Written by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, Illustrated by Drew Shannon (Publisher: Kids Can Press)
Please stay tuned for a virtual announcement about the winner in each category at the annual conference for SWCC in June 2021.
Information about the SWCC Book Awards (including a list of past winners) can be found online. If you’re interested in reading more about the topic of science writing, please check out these recent blog posts from SWCC:
1. What We’re Reading This March
2. Art, Science, and Dog Derrieres: Creating Carolyn Fisher’s Cells: An Owner's Handbook
3. Communicating Science: New Book Explores Science Communication Across the Globe
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