Sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­gram rec­og­nized

The Sudbury Star - - NEWS - STAR STAFF sud.ed­i­to­rial@sun­media.ca Twit­ter: @Sud­buryS­tar

Lau­ren­tian Univer­sity keeps earn­ing ac­co­lades.

Its sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­gram, which is of­fered in part­ner­ship with Sci­ence North, has won the Wil­liam Edmond Lo­gan Award from the Royal Cana­dian In­sti­tute for Sci­ence. The award rec­og­nizes ex­cel­lence in pro­mot­ing a pub­lic un­der­stand­ing of sci­ence by a Cana­dian or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Trends in sci­ence re­search, in­dus­try and pub­lic pol­icy have prompted a need for trained peo­ple in this rapidly grow­ing field,” Chan­tal Bar­ri­ault, the pro­gram’s di­rec­tor, said in a re­lease. “Lau­ren­tian’s grad­u­ates are spe­cial­ists in com­mu­ni­cat­ing the work of lead­ing re­searchers and sci­en­tists to di­verse au­di­ences, from young chil­dren to politi­cians. We are in­cred­i­bly hon­oured to re­ceive this award.”

The sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­gram is unique in Canada. It pro­vides grad­u­ates with the train­ing to trans­form sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion into ac­ces­si­ble and un­der­stand­able knowl­edge for the pub­lic. Many sci­en­tists rec­og­nize the value of do­ing out­reach, but not all are nat­u­rally skilled at it. This pro­gram fos­ters those skills, de­liv­er­ing a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary ex­pe­ri­ence that cov­ers the the­ory un­der­ly­ing good com­mu­ni­ca­tion, as well as the prac­ti­cal chal­lenges of ef­fec­tively com­mu­ni­cat­ing sci­ence and the is­sues in­volv­ing sci­ence in so­ci­ety.

Grad­u­ates of the pro­gram are work­ing in var­i­ous fields across Canada and in other parts of the world, in­clud­ing at Sci­ence North, the pro­gram’s part­ner.

“Our core pur­pose at Sci­ence North is to in­spire peo­ple of all ages to be en­gaged with the sci­ence in the world around them,” Guy Labine, CEO of Sci­ence North, said. “It’s com­mu­ni­cat­ing sci­ence in a way that peo­ple can un­der­stand and en­joy.

“When the sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion grad­u­ate diploma pro­gram was launched in part­ner­ship with Lau­ren­tian Univer­sity, we saw it as a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of what we do ev­ery day at our sci­ence cen­tres. This award cel­e­brates a great part­ner­ship be­tween two in­sti­tu­tions and re­in­forces the im­por­tance of the pro­gram and how grad­u­ates can have a real im­pact on our un­der­stand­ing and com­pre­hen­sion of sci­ence to­day.”

Ac­cord­ing to Rein­hart Rei­th­meier, chair of the Royal Cana­dian In­sti­tute for Sci­ence, “th­ese grad­u­ates are tak­ing sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion in this coun­try to new heights, help­ing Cana­di­ans of all ages rec­og­nize, un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate sci­ence in the world around them. We be­lieve that this is key to fos­ter­ing a strong sci­ence cul­ture in Canada.”

Pierre Zun­del, in­terim pres­i­dent and vice-chan­cel­lor of Lau­ren­tian Univer­sity, said the univer­sity is proud to be a pi­o­neer in the field.

“This is great news and a wel­learned recog­ni­tion for a very creative and hard-work­ing team,” he said. “I want to rec­og­nize the es­sen­tial con­tri­bu­tion of our part­ner, Sci­ence North, in the de­liv­ery of the pro­gram.”

The pro­gram pro­vides stu­dents with ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­search and the ap­pli­ca­tion of sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion prin­ci­ples. It pro­poses a mas­ter’s de­gree or a grad­u­ate diploma in sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion. More in­for­ma­tion on the pro­gram and ad­mis­sion re­quire­ments are avail­able at lau­ren­tian.ca.

SUP­PLIED PHOTO

A sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion stu­dent (2015) from Lau­ren­tian Univer­sity takes part in ed­u­ca­tional trip to Antarc­tica.

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