Students Showcase Scientists on Their Radio Show
Kian Yousefi Kousha is a third-year Neuroscience student who co-hosts the SciSection radio show with Sherry Chen every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on CHFMU 93.3 FM.
“My family immigrated to Canada in 2017. As a newcomer, I faced the usual challenges of adapting to a new home, building a future in a new country and overcoming language barriers. I always had a passion to pursue journalism but coming to Canada put that dream on hold. I doubted I could become a journalist with English as my second language.
"During my second year at McMaster in 2019, I got the opportunity to have my own radio show on CFMU 93.3 FM with the help of my friend Sherry Chen. We named our show SciSection and it is all about changing the general public’s perceptions of the sciences. It’s now one of the top three most listened to shows on CFMU.
"In the first few months of the show, we interviewed McMaster professors to ask them about their personal journeys about becoming scientists. We also asked about the challenges they faced as students. It is easy to be fascinated by success without knowing all the challenges scientists have overcome along the way. Hearing renowned scientists from across Canada talk about their personal challenges can definitely inspire students to follow their own dreams and accept that every success story has its ups and downs.
"SciSection has grown into a student-run organization with close to 30 members. We have expanded our team of journalists to almost 10 universities across Canada and California. We have been honoured to welcome guests including Gregg Semenza (the 2019 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine/Physiology), Feridun Hamdullahpur (President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Waterloo), Santa Ono (President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of British Columbia) and David Shukman (BBC’s first science editor).
"Our team is working on initiatives, events and collaborations to further our goal of connecting people to science. Our main event this year was the Canadian Undergraduate Research Competition that was judged by six scientists and physicians from Calgary, Waterloo, Vancouver and Toronto. We also started a website called Humans and Science which has transcripts of our radio interviews.
"It has been three years since I immigrated to Canada. I have not yet mastered English as my second language but I’ve managed to prove to myself that I can still give back to my community and pursue my dream in a different language in a different place that I now call home. Launching SciSection has been the best decision of my life.”