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SciCommTO Conference 2020

Date
February 21, 2020 - February 22, 2020
Time
10:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Location
Centre for Urban Innovation & George Vari Engineering Building
Open To
Professionals & enthusiasts of science communication - students welcome!
Contact
scicommto@gmail.com

Sorry, registration is sold out!

Welcome to the first ever SciCommTO Conference!

Origins of SciCommTO

In 2016, a small group of intrepid scientists were hanging out in the MaRS atrium, discussing opportunities to bring science to the public in an engaging way. Believing that science should be a fundamental part of Canada’s culture and society - and not just the purview of scientists - SciCommTO was born. Run by a savvy group of volunteers, the network expanded over the years to include not just scientists, but artists, journalists, event planners, content creators and others from communities both within and outside academic science and the GTA. Now managed by RCIScience and Ryerson University’s SciXchange, we are delighted to bring you what we hope will be the first of many SciCommTO Conferences!

The SciCommTO 2020 Conference

The SciCommTO Conference 2020 brings together a diverse group of delegates and organizations with over 120 journalists, practitioners, academics, influencers and researchers attending. The conference is your space to challenge, argue, debate, inform and connect with some of the best talent and thinking in Toronto’s science communication scene. We hope you have an informative and thought-provoking time, and leave full of new ideas, with lots of new friends and colleagues!

Schedule

We are humbled by the amazing people who submitted workshop proposals for this pilot initiative. What a stimulating and diverse programme we have - all made up of sessions that have been suggested and run by you. SciCommTO is a network that is truly run by its members, for its members – so thank you for putting forward a huge range of session ideas.

With a mix of panel discussions, workshops and presentations, our schedule features a host of opportunities to wade in and learn more about inclusive storytelling, content creation, evaluation techniques, youth engagement and so much more. Everyone has a story. We hope this conference helps you find or refine yours and share it with us.

And don’t forget to join us for our favourite science variety show, Spark After Dark, on Friday night. Featuring science-themed musical performances, makeup tutorials, drag, demonstrations and games, this is your chance to relax and soak up some of our local SciComm heroes in action!

Thank You!

Lastly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank IdeaMosaic for their organizational support, and NSERC for the generous grant that allowed us to get this dream off the ground.

We look forward to meeting you! Sincerely,

Kirsten Vanstone

Executive Director, RCIScience

Carrie Boyce

Programs Manager, RCIScience

Dr. Emily Agard

Director, SciXchange

Leigh Paulseth

Science Outreach & Enrichment Coordinator, SciXchange

Schedule - Friday, February 21

Centre for Urban Innovation, 44 Gerrard St. E.

10:00 - 11:15 AM | CUI 317

SciComm101

This workshop is designed to introduce students and professionals to the science communication realm prior to the official start of the conference. It will give a brief overview of the Canadian context and introduce key players, accronyms and concepts that will be encountered over the course of the conference.

Attendees can expect to meet some cool people who share an interest in SciComm, reflect on their own SciComm goals and values, and learn a bit more about the sector. All are welcome to attend.

Ki-Youn Kim
Ki-Youn Kim

Chemical Institute of Canada

With a Master’s in Science Communication from Laurentian University, Ki-Youn uses her evidence-based scicomm knowledge and skills at the Chemical Institute of Canada in various projects. She also freelances in scicomm and shares #SciCommSunday tips on Twitter.

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM | CUI 303

Show & Tell + Registration

This informal session is one of the ways we will be highlighting the amazing work of the SciCommTO Network and various science communication initiatives throughout the GTA! You'll meet experienced science communication presenters, content creators and artists. Be sure to arrive early for registration (happening at the same time) to be able to peruse our Show & Tell which includes initiatives from science education and creative events, to SciArt and even a confectionary delight!  

Lunch served prior to the panel | CUI 317

If you had a million dollars to spend on one area of Canadian science communication, what would you spend it on? Panellists pitch their ideas and you, the audience, vote on the winner.

Jesse Hildebrand
Jesse Hildebrand

Panellist

Jesse Hildebrand is a wide ranging science communicator most known for founding Science Literacy Week. He also produced Story Collider and is currently VP at Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants. He has too much personality, and will talk endlessly about Marvel and the Blue Jays.

Ivan Semeniuk
Ivan Semeniuk

Panellist

Ivan Semeniuk covers science for The Globe and Mail. A career science journalist, editor and broadcaster, he has previously worked for the journal Nature, New Scientist magazine and Discovery Channel.

Marianne Mader
Marianne Mader

Panellist

Dr. Marianne Mader is the Executive Director for the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC), one of the largest membership-based associations of informal science learning organizations in Canada, collectively reaching more than 8 million citizens per year.  

Emily headshot
Emily Agard

Moderator

As Director of SciXchange at Ryerson University, Emily is dedicated to making science accessible, engaging and inclusive of all groups and is mentor to many youth in the community. Emily has a PhD in Immunology and teaches at Ryerson in addition to managing science enrichment activities and mentoring programs.

Anthony Morgan
Anthony Morgan

Panellist

Anthony Morgan is an Entrepreneur, Science Presenter, Experience Designer, Radio/Television Host and PhD researcher who's been named one of CBC's top ten millennial changemakers. He is the founder of Science Everywhere.

2:00 - 3:30 PM | CUI 317

'Podagogy': The Power of Podcasting as a Tool for Science Communication

Have you ever considered starting a science-themed podcast? Or wondered what features listeners find most engaging? Drawing on evidence-based practices, this workshop explores the key science communication strategies that popular science podcasts use to get listeners interested in science learning. Discover how to create engaging content through practical, hands-on activities, including how to get people involved in your podcast, how to connect with guest speakers, and how to run a dynamic podcast interview.

Kyelle Byne

Science North | OurScience podcast

Kyelle is a podcast enthusiast with a Masters in Science Communication from Laurentian University. She uses evidenced-based SciComm practice to inform her role as a grant writing professional at Science North, and frequently extolls her love of science on the OurScience podcast.

Raif Douthwaite
Raif Douthwaite

Speak on Your Feet

Entrepreneur, & public speaking mentor, Raif is the producer and manager of Lumières. Inspiring & sharing science through candid interviews with experts worldwide. He founded Speak On Your Feet to help people become confident, engaging communicators through applied improvisation.

Eloise Ashworth
Eloïse Ashworth

Speak on Your Feet

Marine scientist, podcaster & public speaking mentor, Eloïse hosts Lumières to inspire & share science through candid conversations with experts worldwide. She founded Speak On Your Feet to help professionals become confident, engaging communicators through applied improvisation.

2:00 - 3:30 PM | CUI 303

The Art of Telling Better Scientific Stories

This workshop provides practical strategies from linguistics and rhetorical studies to help you craft a variety of scientific communications for a diverse range of audiences. Understand models for better communication based on careful linguistic and rhetorical analysis of published articles, abstracts, and other genres. Explore strategies for online forms of scicomm, including blogs and crowdfunding proposals, and discover practical tips on crafting compelling narratives that ethically communicate your science. All levels of experience welcome.

Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher
Ashley Mehlenbacher

University of Waterloo

Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher is an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo and an Ontario Early Researcher Award holder. She is the author of the book Science Communication Online (Ohio State UP, 2019).

Ashley will present this workshop together with several researchers from Waterloo University:

  • Andrea Jonahs
  • Brad Mehlenbacher
  • Carter Neal
  • Devon Moriarty
  • George Lamont
  • Megan Lynn Selinger

2:00 - 2:45 PM | CUI 219

Fostering Dialogue for Public Engagement with Science

As scicomm moves away from the “knowledge deficit” model and one-way communication, dialogue is a collaborative process. It sees all participants - experts, laymen, extroverted, introverted - as having knowledge and a voice to contribute, stressing active listening for mutual understanding. This interactive session builds on established research to engage participants with creative, non-traditional activities that seek to give everyone a voice, not just those comfortable speaking, and to build skills in effectively facilitating dialogue about science.

Freelancer

Inspired by her time engaging diverse youth with science, Celia Du pursued an MSc in Science Communication & Public Engagement at the University of Edinburgh. She is now a freelance science communicator and filmmaker, working with organizations like RCIScience and RASC Toronto.  

Celia Du
Celia Du

2:45 - 3:30 PM | 1st Floor Atrium

Are we selling or selling out science?

There's a natural tension between use of scientific communication by institutions and other agendas such as philanthropy. This session will address the issue from both sides - the need to attract awareness and support and the need to ensure what is communicated is not hyperbole or exaggeration. This relates to trust in science, especially when there is misrepresentation of facts and over-promising of, for example, cures.

Jim Woodgett
Jim Woodgett

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

Jim is a science advocate and strong proponent of the need for effective communication of science. As the Director of Research at LTRI he teaches ethics and exposition to graduate students but his laboratory interests are in a different form of communication within cells (signal transduction).

Joining Jim on this panel will be:

  • Kate Allen, Writer at The Star
  • Kelly Grant, National Health Reporter at The Globe & Mail
  • Amanda Ferguson, Public Relations Manager at Sinai Health Foundation

CUI 317

Panellists share their experiences establishing careers in science communication. From consulting to writing to influencing, discover more about the unusual career landscapes in science communication, and how you can stand out from the crowd. More panellists will be added soon!

Mischa Gajewski
Mischa Gajewski

Panellist

Misha is a freelance journalist, educator and a senior producer / co-host for The Story Collider Podcast. Her work has appeared on Vice, CTV News, and Mic, among others. She's also a script writer for the award-winning YouTube channel SciShow.

Andy Forest
Andy Forest

Panellist

Andy's passion and purpose are to empower kids to invent the future! Andy consults with science centers and educators around the world and has inspired thousands of social innovators at conferences all over the world. As the co-founder of STEAMLabs, Andy has helped develop programs for hundreds of thousands of participants at diverse makerspaces, science centres, libraries and other locations around the world.

David Manly
David Manly

Panellist

David has written for CMAJ and Scientific American, press releases for EurekAlert, U.S. science exams, and published in a book of the best science writing. He now works at SickKids doing science communication and outreach with children in the hospital and communities across the GTA.

Samantha Yammine
Samantha Yammine

Moderator

Dr. Samantha Yammine, PhD is a Neuroscientist & Science Communicator who has become a leader in digital science communication through her platform as Science Sam on Instagram. She shares anything science, anywhere & everywhere to empower everyone to participate in science!

Eugenia Duodu
Eugenia Duodu

Panellist

As CEO of Visions of Science Network for Learning, Dr. Eugenia leads a motivated team as they strive to make a meaningful impact in communities through STEM. Their mandate is a perfect reflection of her goal: making a long-lasting positive impact in communities through STEM engagement and in-turn allowing youth to unlock their potential.

4:45 - 5:30 PM | CUI 317

Speed Mentoring

More sucessful than speed dating and less awkward than networking, our Speed Mentoring round will have you meeting all sorts of science communication enthusiasts! Bring your business cards or remember to charge your phone, because you'll want to keep track of the great folks you'll get to meet.

When you registered for the conference you identified yourself as a 'Mentor' or 'Mentee'. If you don't remember, we'll have the list to cross reference and you can always ask an organizer for advice if you're unsure. If you change how you identify yourself, no worries either.

Mentors: We'll ask those with science communication experience to share a bit about their background and careers in SciComm thus far. Be concise, as you'll only have a few minutes. You'll want to listen to the Mentees interests too, of course!

Mentees: You'll rotate around the room talking with each Mentor for a few minutes. Be sure to bring your burning SciComm questions and mention what your career and/or conference goals are.

Coding and cocktails reception at Ryerson

Whether you're a newcomer to the SciComm field or have years of sage advice, we recommend coming to this session with a 30 second elevator pitch and an idea of what you want to get out of a networking session (eg. career guidance vs opportunities to collaborate, etc).

Remember, you never know when you're going to stumble across a dynamic collaboration in this business! Bring your enthusiasm and we'll be looking for sparks to fly!

Spark After Dark

  Supermarket Restaurant & Bar, 268 Augusta Avenue

  7:00 - 9:30 PM

  Admission to this event is included in your conference registration. Extra tickets can be purchased online, external link, opens in new window.

  This is a prime opportunity for us to put theory into practice, with a diverse group of Torontonians taking the stage to get creative about the world around us in the form of spoken word, comedy, song, dance, and more. Join us for an entertaining event and great networking opportunity!

Schedule - Saturday, February 22

George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre, 245 Church St.

9:00 - 10:30 AM | 3rd Floor Atrium

A panel discussion exploring the state of science communication in Canada and other countries, including the UK and US. What are some of Canada's unique challenges and opportunities, and what can we learn from our peers elsewhere?

Clint Jacobs
Clint Jacobs

Panellist

Clint Jacobs is Anishnaabe from Bkejwanong – Walpole Island First Nation. Clint is part of the Walpole Island Heritage Centre’s Natural Heritage Program and founder and president of the Walpole Island Land Trust. He is also a member of the National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk.

Chantal Barriault
Chantal Barriault

Panellist

Dr. Chantal Barriault is the Director of the Science Communication Graduate Program at Laurentian University, delivered in partnership with Science North, a world leading science centre in Sudbury, ON, where she spent 25 years of her early career!

Dom McDonald
Dom McDonald

Panellist

Dom is the Head of Education at the Royal Institution in the U.K. His role is to brings together all of the Ri's existing and future activities for young people to enrich their experience with science. He has worked in schools, science centres, science festivals, learned societies, the civil service, and now the Ri.

Imogen Coe
Imogen Coe

Moderator

Dr. Imogen R. Coe is a professor, scientist, cell biologist, advocate & activist for inclusive science communication & public engagement, science policy & cultural change. In addition to her work as a research scientist in cell biology, Dr. Coe is internationally recognized as a Canadian thought leader in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She has advised academia, government and industry on best practices and approaches to improve EDI in STEM, particularly in the Canadian post-secondary education (PSE) sector.

10:45 - 11:15 AM | 3rd Floor Atrium

Who is a Scientist? Why does it matter?

Science communication cannot be dissociated from the scientists behind it. In a world where facts matter less than we might like them to, let's deconstruct the image of a scientist and how it fits into our society, examining 'typical' attributes and habits of scientists, and co-creating a shared vision of who a scientist is - and why it matters.

Alon Eisenstein
Alon Eisenstein

Pueblo Science

Alon is the director of education at Pueblo Science, where he coordinates events, trains volunteers, designs activities, performs science magic tricks and demonstrations, and conducts research on the impact of Pueblo Science’s professional development program for science teachers.

10:45 - 11:15 AM | ENG-101

Hook, Line and Sinker: How to Write a Headline

The first way most people will interact with your scicomm project is through a headline. Whether it's an article, an event, a video, or a tweet, you have to give your audience a reason to read on. In this practical workshop, experienced science communicator Jon Farrow will introduce some best practices for writing headlines, before splitting into groups to critique existing headlines and craft new ones. Come with some lacklustre headlines or descriptions that need sprucing up and a grudging appreciation for clever wordplay.

CIFAR

Jon is an experienced communicator who crafts engaging science stories for traditional and social media. Now at CIFAR, he has researched, produced, written, and presented for organizations including the Edinburgh Science Festival, the Science Museum, and the Royal Institution.

Jon Farrow
Jon Farrow

10:45 - 11:15 AM | ENG-102

You Need More than One Trick Up Your Sleeve: Communicating to Diverse Practitioner Audiences

What we continually rediscover is that diverse audiences require diverse methods of engagement. In this presentation, Dr. Laura Huey shares some of the different tools and strategies used to increase access to research among practitioners, and to enhance their understanding of how research works and how findings can be used to inform policy and practice.

Laura Huey

Canadian Society of Evidence Based Policing | University of Western Ontario

Dr. Laura Huey is Director of the Canadian Society of Evidence Based Policing & Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario. She is also a member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada & a Senior Research Fellow with the Police Foundation.  

11:15 - 11:45 AM | 3rd Floor Atrium

Understanding Science Capital

The term ‘Science Capital’ sprang out of the UK about 5 years ago, but what exactly is it and how does it help us understand patterns in science participation? Join us for a look at how this conceptual tool evolved beyond education research for broader use in practice and policy. Come prepared to reflect on your own science capital and embrace a new way of thinking, or describing, your approach to science communication and STEM engagement!

Carrie Boyce
Carrie Boyce

RCIScience

Carrie is an established STEM engagement manager specializing in schools outreach and public engagement to promote lifelong learning and widen participation. With over 10 years’ experience working in SciComm, it’s fair to say she’s become a Jack of all trades, master of some.

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM | 3rd Floor Atrium

Reaching Diverse Audiences

We all know that we need to know our audience when designing an event or program. Many scicomm programs are created with the intention of reaching diverse communities in order to funnel strong, diverse, scientific minds into STEM fields. But how well do we know the audiences we are trying to reach? Participants of this workshop will have the opportunity to learn from members of diverse communities about how best to reach and engage community members.

Amber Sandy
Amber Sandy

Ryerson University

Amber is the Coordinator of Indigenous Knowledge and Science Outreach at SciXchange. A member of Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation, Amber's work focuses on integrating Indigenous and western science in her approach to conservation, environmental science and education.

Francis Jeffers
Francis Jeffers

Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum

Francis Jeffers is the Founder and Past Executive Director of the NSERC award winning Visions of Science Network for Learning and Curator/President of the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum.

Camilo Garay
Camilo Garay

Visions of Science Network for Learning

Camilo leads the development of all new programs and initiatives at Visions of Science.

Clint Jacobs
Clint Jacobs

Walpole Island Heritage Centre

Clint Jacobs is Anishnaabe from Bkejwanong – Walpole Island First Nation. Clint is part of the Walpole Island Heritage Centre’s Natural Heritage Program and founder and president of the Walpole Island Land Trust. He is also a member of the National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk.

Roopali Chaudhary
Roopali Chaudhary

Lotus STEMM

Dr. Chaudhary is the CEO & Lead Researcher at the nonprofit Lotus STEMM, a networking & leadership platform for South Asian women in STEMM fields. She also owns a custom cake bakery, (C6H12O6)3 i.e.SugarKube, with a passion for science-themed cakes, & “edible” scicomm.

11:15 AM - 12:45 PM | ENG-102

Leveraging Creative Storytelling

While there are many approaches to good science communication, storytelling is a powerful tool for connecting with audiences. Using a combination of lecture slides and written and oral group exercises, this workshop will discuss the ways and theory behind why storytelling can be used to effectively communicate science. Topics covered will include general communication tips, what narratives and narrative arcs are, and how we can use narrative elements in different mediums.

Krishana Sankar
Krishana Sankar

Krishana Sankar is a sought-after speaker, an award winning & published doctoral fellow at UofT. Her research uses cool devices to study cells in the pancreas! When she isn’t doing science, she talks about science. She also enjoys dancing and hiking!

Cylita Guy
Cylita Guy

University of Toronto

Dr. Cylita Guy is an experienced scientist and science communicator. She spent 10 years working at the Ontario Science Centre, started a kids citizen science program, organizes ComSciCon Canada, and is writing her first kids book.

11:15 - 11:45 AM | ENG-101

Breaking the Habit: Embedding Inclusive Practices in Scientific Communication

In this interactive workshop we’ll view basic strategies and understandings of inclusive communication through a SciComm lense. We will cover issues of privilege, performative allyship and bystander intervention, and share actionable strategies to use our privilege as an advantage to embed inclusion in scientific communication.

Rotman School of Management

Ana Sofia has an educational background in Physics, and Leadership & Inclusion. Graduated from Ryerson University and currently working towards her Canadian Inclusion Professional designation, she has led multiple initiatives focused on advancing EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) in STEM & academia.

Ana Sofia Barrows
Ana Sofia Barrows

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM | ENG-101

Social Media for SciComm: Tips & Tricks

Neuroscientist & Science Communicator Samantha Yammine (@science.sam / @heysciencesam) shares her best practises for audience-first storytelling, alongside tips and tricks for engaging folks with your science through social media! Whether you're a daily tweeter or it's your first time sharing science publicly, come ready to hone modern communication skills that can be applied to any career and any type of science.

Samantha Yammine
Samantha Yammine

Science Sam Media

Dr. Samantha Yammine, PhD is a Neuroscientist & Science Communicator who has become a leader in digital science communication through her platform as Science Sam on Instagram. She shares anything science, anywhere & everywhere to empower everyone to participate in science!

1:45 - 2:30 PM | ENG-101

Indigenous Knowledge and Science Communication: Creating space for community specific science programming

A presentation about bringing Indigenous knowledge and science together, with a look at how to appropriately approach the topic, why community specific programming is so important and how the science community can support it.

Amber Sandy
Amber Sandy

Ryerson University

Amber is the Coordinator of Indigenous Knowledge and Science Outreach at SciXchange. A member of Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation, Amber's work focuses on integrating Indigenous and western science in her approach to conservation, environmental science and education.

1:45 - 2:30 PM | ENG-102

Interviewing: The Art of Asking Questions

Many producers of scicomm content are not experts on the topic they want to communicate, so they have to talk to the experts. The process of interviewing can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. In this practical and informal session, experienced interviewers will field questions about questions and provide tips for making the most of a researcher's precious time, covering everything from interview preparation to the art of the follow-up.

Jon Farrow
Jon Farrow

CIFAR

Jon is an experienced communicator who crafts engaging science stories for traditional and social media. Now at CIFAR, he has researched, produced, written, and presented for organizations including the Edinburgh Science Festival, the Science Museum, and the Royal Institution.

Cynthia MacDonald
Cynthia MacDonald

For almost two decades, Cynthia Macdonald has worked as a science reporter for numerous publications at both the University of Toronto and York University. Most recently, she served as Communications Specialist for CIFAR. She has interviewed scientists working in virtually all fields of endeavour, from astrophysics to zoology. A former television host and radio reporter with CBC and TVOntario, she has also conducted  frequent onstage interviews with the Toronto Public Library’s “eh List” program.

1:45 - 2: 30 PM | 3rd Floor Atrium

Creative Solutions to Misinformation

This workshop will outline a novel strategic framework for science communicators to address the spread of misinformation. The group will then engage in a facilitated discussion game to explore the pros and cons of specific strategies. 

Anthony Morgan
Anthony Morgan

Science Everywhere

Anthony Morgan is an Entrepreneur, Science Presenter, Experience Designer, Radio/Television Host and PhD researcher who's been named one of CBC's top ten millennial changemakers. He is the founder of Science Everywhere.

2:45 - 3:45 PM | 3rd Floor Atrium

Measuring Up: The Art of Evaluation

“We measure what we value and we value what we measure.” Even with the best of intentions, funders won’t continue to support projects that aren’t getting results. Counting visitors, feedback forms and cherry picking quotes are tools that can provide some insight, but never give the whole picture. This workshop will look at innovative and robust approaches to evaluating SciComm activities. Explore evidence-based techniques that help prove we’re achieving what we set out to do and quantifiably improve how we’re doing it.

Celia Du
Celia Du

Freelancer

Inspired by her time engaging diverse youth with science, Celia Du pursued an MSc in Science Communication & Public Engagement at the University of Edinburgh. She is now a freelance science communicator and filmmaker, working with organizations like RCIScience and RASC Toronto.  

Carrie Boyce
Carrie Boyce

RCIScience

Carrie is an established STEM engagement manager specializing in schools outreach and public engagement to promote lifelong learning and widen participation. With over 10 years’ experience working in SciComm, it’s fair to say she’s become a Jack of all trades, master of some.

2:45 - 3:45 PM | ENG-101

Visual Communication Toolkit

This workshop highlights the key elements needed to create effective visual science communication products. The first half will focus on fundamental principles of graphic design including layout, colour theory, typography along with image/icon sourcing and accessibility. The second half will cover the application of these tools in creating science communication products including infographics, academic posters, and social media campaigns.

Julia Krolik
Julia Krolik

Pixels and Plans | Art the Science

Julia is the founder of Pixels and Plans, a creative agency for research, and Art the Science, a Canadian SciArt non-profit. Her diverse background enables a rare cross-disciplinary empathy and she continuously advocates for effective research communication with the public. 

2:45 - 3:45 PM | ENG-102

Communicating With Intent

Recent research has demonstrated that effective science communication needs to consider how people learn, what they value, and how design and language can impact engagement. Our "Communicating with Intent" framework focuses on identifying the values and needs of specific audiences in order to shape communication goals, essential messages, frames, and delivery. Participants will leave with a deeper appreciation of what it means to "know your audience," and a practical tool to guide them through the essential message development of future presentations.  

Laurentian University

Michelle is an Instructor and Technical Advisor for the Science Communication Graduate program co-lead by Laurentian University and Science North. She has led courses in Understanding Audiences and Issues, Design Theory, Traditional Media Production, and Presenting Research.

Michelle Reid
Michelle Reid

4:00 - 5:00 PM | 3rd Floor Atrium

What's Curriculum Got To Do With It?

When creating science communication content, youth are often seen as the “low hanging fruit”. While they may be one of the easiest audiences to access, they are, in reality, one of the most challenging groups to engage well. Research shows that having positive interactions with role models from an early age can shape academic and career goals, so science engagement with this high stakes group needs to be done well.

Explore some ways to effectively engage youth in formal (school) and informal (community) settings and build a roadmap to engage youth at their level.

Camilo Garay
Camilo Garay

Visions of Science Network for Learning

Camilo leads the development of all new programs and initiatives at Visions of Science.

Talveen Singh

Let's Talk Science

Talveen is an occasional teacher with the Peel District and Upper Grand District School Boards. She graduated from Western University with a B.Sc and a B. Ed, with a specialization in STEM Education and is interested in making science education accessible, equitable and fun for all students.  

Leigh Paulseth
Leigh Paulseth

Ryerson University

Leigh coordinates science outreach programs at SciXchange for youth & the general public. She manages Soapbox Science Toronto, Let's Talk Science & other outreach events at Ryerson. Her passion for the environment is seen in her science communication and community engagement.

4:00 - 5:00 PM | ENG-101

Video Production

Hold onto your butts - this is a Spielberg crash course in 60 minutes. There will be something for all levels of experience. Together, we’ll create a short video for social media.

Science Media Creator

My name is Joc, and I’m a science media creator. I produce, direct and edit video and 360° projects. My series Step Inside Your Stem Career has been screened for students across Canada. I’m currently working on a natural history mini-series about the Great Lakes.

Joc Bentley
Jocelyn Bentley

4:00 - 5:00 PM | ENG-102

Scaling Your Talk

Ever wondered how to you can scale your talk in length or depth? This workshop will combine theory and practice to provide you with tools to scale your talk depending on your audience and the time frame you are given. You can tell the same story and convey the same message in 3 minutes or 3 hours. Participants are encouraged to come with a story or research idea in mind.  

Sara Mazrouei
Sara Mazrouei

Dr. Sara Mazrouei is a planetary scientist and a science communicator with a passion for sharing the wonders of the universe with the public. She has a PhD from the University of Toronto and currently works on multiple education and outreach efforts.

This session will be co-facilitated with Dr. Parshati Patel.

Conference Co-Hosts

Venue Sponsor

Science Discorvery Zone , opens in new window

The Science Discovery Zone (SDZ) follows and teaches evidence-based innovation by providing experiential-learning opportunities to its members and providing business incubation opportunities to its entrepreneurs.  We thank them for providing space for the conference on Friday.

Conference Sponsor

NSERC logo , external link, opens in new window

This conference is made possible through a Promo Science grant from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Lunch Sponsor

Science Rendezvous , external link, opens in new window

Science Rendezvous is an annual festival that takes science out of the lab and onto the street! It will take place nation-wide on May 9, 2020. We thank them for providing lunch on Friday.

More About SciCommTO Conference 2020

70% of Canada's top jobs require some level of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM)

Only 22% of students plan to pursue STEM education in post-secondary

Our biggest global challenges are grounded in STEM issues (like climate change and vaccinations)

We need professionals who can communicate science accurately and reliably now more than ever!

Experienced science communicators and newcomers alike join forces to tackle the biggest issues in science communication today!

Building networks among scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians and communication professionals alike is essential to developing a healthy and vibrant science culture in Canada. Innovation in science communication (or ‘SciComm’) won’t happen without connecting these communities, sharing Canadian experiences and learning about related work from around the world.

That’s why RCIScience and SciXchange at Ryerson University have partnered to bring you the SciCommTO Conference 2020 - a cross-sector meeting bringing together practitioners from a range of science communication disciplines.

Our goal is to bring people together to shape an engaged Canadian science communication community through idea exchange and sharing best practice. The SciCommTO Conference 2020 will feature tips for storytelling, content creation, freelancing, how best to communicate with different audiences (eg. youth, different cultural groups) and much more!

Attendees will learn how to ground their practice in research and evidence to reach a diverse range of audiences. This pilot initiative from the SciCommTO Network will focus on moving the sector forward. With a look to the future, we’ll also learn from the past, explore case studies from other countries, and consider perspectives and learnings from those outside of the SciComm sector.

What is Ryerson doing about Coronavirus?

Right now the University is opperating as usual. The latest update from Ryerson University about Coronavirus can be found here., opens in new window Public Health Officials continue to advise that the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus in the Greater Toronto Area remains low.

What if there is an emergency on campus during the Conference?

In an emergency or if you have an immediate safety concern please call 9-1-1. For other safety concerns while on campus you can contact Ryerson Security:

External phones: 416-979-5040
Internal phones: 5040
Email: security@ryerson.ca
Location: Victoria Building (VIC), 285 Victoria Street, 1st floor

I'm nervous walking to or from the subway to the conference. Is there someone who can help?

Ryerson Security provides a free "Walk Safe" program to all Ryerson community members and visitors. Please call them at 416-979-5040 to request a Security Officer to accompany you to/from College or Dundas Subway Station.

Are bursaries available to attend the SciCommTO Conference 2020?

Discounted tickets are available for students. Additional discount requests should be made in writing to nathan@ideamosaic.ca demonstrating need.

What networking opportunities are there at the conference?

There are two networking opportunities on Friday February 21. The first is a speed mentoring session at the end of the day, followed by the social event, Spark After Dark, in the evening.  There will also be an opportunity to network during conference refreshment and lunch breaks.

What is the conference for?

The Conference aims to build capacity within the science communication community in the Greater Toronto Area. Specifically it will:

  • Address key issues facing those doing and researching science communication, youth outreach and public engagement.
  • Link this diverse group together, to share best practice, new ideas and move the sector forward.
  • Help the community to find inspiration and connections from culture and each other.

Who is the conference for?

We welcome anyone who works in or has an interest in public and youth engagement with science. That includes people who work in all sectors, as well as freelancers and small consultancies. The Conference will include sessions for all levels of experience, from seasoned pros to those new to the sector.

We hope discussions encompass the many pillars of science communication, from live events to new media, writing and research and that they recognize different levels of expertise in each field.

When and where is SciCommTO 2020?

  • When: Friday February 21 - Saturday February 22 2020
  • Where: Ryerson University. Specific building(s) TBC.

Spark After Dark will take place on Friday February 21 at Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5T 2L9.

Is the venue physically accessible?

Yes. More details coming soon - please contact nathan@ideamosaic.ca if you have any questions or concerns.

What does a ticket include?

The conference fee helps us cover administrative costs and includes:

  • Access to speakers' presentations
  • Refreshments
  • Lunch on Saturday
  • Evening entertainment (access to Spark After Dark)
  • Access to follow up conference materials

Please note that the conference fee does NOT include accommodation.

What if I can only attend one day of the conference?

Please contact nathan@ideamosaic.ca for a discounted rate for one-day attendance.

What is Spark After Dark?

Once described as a ‘chaotic cabaret of science’, Spark After Dark is essentially a showcase combining science with creativity. It’s a prime opportunity for us to put theory into practice, with a diverse group of Torontonians taking the stage to get creative about the world around us in the form of spoken word, comedy, song, dance, and more. Find more information about spark after dark here., external link, opens in new window

If I can’t attend, can I cancel my ticket, or give it to a colleague?

Cancellation of a conference place must be made in writing to nathan@ideamosaic.ca, and acknowledged. Any cancellations advised less than 14 days prior to the conference will not be refunded but a colleague can attend in your place.

I’m interested in volunteering at the conference. What can I do to help?

If you are interested in volunteering during the conference or at Spark After Dark please email nathan@ideamosaic.ca

Conference Organizers

Idea Mosaic

  SciCommTO@gmail.com  |  Nathan@IdeaMosaic.ca

All correspondance about the Conference should be directed to Nathan at either of the emails above.

 

Conference Co-Hosts

SciXchange, Ryerson University

 SciXchange@Ryerson.ca

 416-979-5000 x3134

RCIScience

 Information@RCIScience.ca

Would your organization like to join this growing community of science communication enthusiasts and support the development of this important network of professionals and students? There are great sponsorship opportunities available. Please contact us (Nathan@IdeaMosaic.ca) for further details.

Level Amount Presence in Toolkit Logo on Promotional Material Tickets to Conference Booth
Platinum $5,000 X X 2 2 tables
Gold $3,000 X X 1 1 table
Lunch Sponsor
$2,000   X
1  
Silver
$500   X    

Additional Sponsorship Opportunities

Photobooth Sponsor - $1,000

The evening event for the SciCommTO Conference will be Spark After Dark, external link, opens in new window, a live showcase featuring comedy, songs, skits, and more - all with a scientific twist.

  • Presenting sponsor for the photobooth during the evening event of the conference - Spark After Dark
  • Logo on printed and digital pictures
  • Recognition as the photobooth sponsor (during event and on social media)

 

Student Sponsorship - $45 - $225

Departments can sponsor up to 5 students with free tickets.

  • Logo on promotional material (posters, slides)
  • Recognition as a student sponsor (during event and on social media)

Thanks to the following Departments for sponsoring students: Ryerson University, Department of Math | Ryerson University, Department of Chemistry & Biology