“We’re not always just sharing the facts – we’re sharing enthusiasm for the learning process and science”
The participants and organizers of ComSciConCAN 2019. Photo by Zachary Guy.
For a lot of people, “She blinded me with science” isn’t just a song from the ‘80s – it’s reality. Science can be…well, complicated to explain.For a lot of people, “She blinded me with science” isn’t just a song from the ‘80s – it’s reality. Science can be…well, complicated to explain.
ComSciConCAN is trying to change that.
The first-ever Canadian offshoot of ComSciCon – short for Communicating Science Conference – was held at McMaster earlier this month, welcoming 50 attendees selected from 400 applicants from across the country. Supported by a variety of organizations and institutions, including McMaster's Socrates Project and the faculties of Science and Health Sciences, the event’s workshops, panel discussions and keynote talks focused on teaching scientists to share the results of their research to a broad, diverse audience – not just fellow researchers.
ComSciConCAN’s storytelling panel. Photo by Zachary Guy.
Here are some of the participants’ reactions.
“Science is a human endeavour like any other and is only important so long as people care about it.
"Having the ability to not just do science but also communicate it effectively in an accurate yet engaging way to non-scientific audiences like the general public or political stakeholders is an increasingly needed skill in today’s world.
[At ComSciConCAN], the energy is high and everyone is incredibly encouraging of each other. Besides inspiration and practical tips for doing science communication, we are building a community of young, excited and hungry graduate students who are eager to lead Canadian science into a new era where science is not just contained in the ivory tower, but accessible and interesting for all Canadians.”
Charles Cong Xu, PhD candidate, Redpath Museum and Department of Biology, McGill University