Science Borealis' #SciComm100 science communication project


A picture is worth a thousand words. But, how about a great picture with a short-ish quote about the importance of science communication? (Now available on merch).

I originally thought that this genius concept was Peggy Muddles', aka @thevexedmuddler's, idea. But, she fact-checked me, to explain that Science Borealis' recent blockbuster #SciComm100 project was rooted in Québec's Science Presse #100lascience projet.


Peggy, herself a talented artist (I wear her science jewellery and clothing), brought a group of artists together, to create portraits from photos of 100 scientists and science communicators from across the Canadian anglophone science community. These portraits were paired with the person's quote about why science communication is important to them. It's been a really inspiring series, both visually and verbally.

Back in spring 2016, I was thrilled to be invited to participate, and now my face is on a mug! And, so is one of our great Steacie Science and Engineering Librarian's! John Dupuis (mug, above left) was a guinea pig for the project. Together with Marisa Sterling, he and I organize Ada Lovelace Day at York University, and we gave these mugs to this year's speaker, Bryan Gaensler, and the Editathon raffle winner, Priti Mishra. (Actually, Bryan, I've kind of lost the mug somewhere, but I'm sure it will turn up).

dawn-bazely-rondeau-2009-poison-ivyHere's the photo I sent Peggy. I'm recording plant cover in a 1m x 1m quadrat in Rondeau Provincial Park, while sitting in a patch of poison ivy at 30 degrees celsius, hence the raincoat to protect my skin. Hmm, heaven!

It took me a while to come up with a quote about what science communication means to me. In the end, I hearkened back to my constant message about science as a process: it's solitary, tedious, and mostly about failure. I get very concerned when science engagement portrays it all as whiz-bang fun and team work. It's not. But, communicating science, both the speaking and listening, IS fun, and social.

Here's Peggy's awesome artwork with my quote:

PS Now that we can order various gifts with our faces and quotes on them, I'll be giving some as Christmas presents, to my relatives who always give me socks, and copies of their publications, and pet projects of this ilk.

PPS Here's one of the #100LaScience illustrations and quotes from Instagram, with federal Science Minister, Kirsty Duncan: