Public understanding of science

More public science: appearing on the ZDF series, Infestation!

  I doubted that much could top discovering that my 2013 Skype chat about plant defences got me a movie credit in a science fiction feature film! But, you never can tell where science outreach and engagement will take you. Just a few weeks after hearing about my Botanical Consultant film credit, some of my other Public Science led to just as unexpected an […]

How doing public science led to a credit in the "Flora" movie

These days, science communication, outreach, and engagement are all the rage. But when I joined York University's Biology Department as an assistant professor in 1990, the notion, that part of our responsibility, as taxpayer-funded professors, might include spending valuable time away from research, talking with non-academics, other than our students, was rather a minority opinion amongst many YorkU faculty. Since […]

Science Fairs & Science on Ice at York University

The annual Science Fair is a right of passage for many aspiring, young scientists. I've been fortunate (if that's the right word), to experience them as both a judge, and a parent. Back in the 1990s, I was blown away by the creativity and enthusiasm of the young citizen scientists when I was a judge at the annual […]

Ada Lovelace Day at York University 2016

Once again, York University's 2nd International Ada Lovelace Day celebrations involved two different events: Canada Research Chair in Radioastronomy, and Director of the University of Toronto's Dunlap Observatory, Professor Bryan Gaensler gave the Ada Lovelace Day Lecture We held a drop-in Wikipedia Editathon in Steacie Science and Engineering Library We thank York University Libraries, the Lassonde School […]

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 […]

Why I'm involved with Nature Canada's Women for Nature initiative

That really is me (centre), Dave Reid (far left), and Heidi Langille (near left) with a live Great-Horned Owl, and their very calm, young handler, at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, on September 30, 2016. Dave, Heidi and I had a reunion, after working together on Adventure Canada's Arctic Explorer expedition cruise in August  2016. Other attendees at Nature […]

What I learned about Instagram from #ResearcherTakeoverTuesday at the COU

The clip of sea butterflies, below is from Anne Todgham's Go Pro. It didn't make it onto my Research Matters Instagram #ResearcherTakeoverTuesday in September. Anne, who is a Biology prof. in animal physiology at UC Davis, was an expedition cruise passenger on my Arctic Safari trip with Adventure Canada. Here's the text I wrote to accompany this clip: The arctic oceans […]

My 6 favourite #SciComm tweets since I got back on the grid

I've been back in our wired world for 2 weeks after being off the grid in the arctic for August. While I did have a pricey satellite phone with me, in case my family needed to contact me, I didn't at all miss the internet and the world of cheap mobile phone minutes Lots of […]

Six steps to making your very own Ada Lovelace Day in Fall 2016

Suw Charmin-Anderson launched International Ada Lovelace Day in 2009 as a way of both recognizing, and taking action to reverse the under-representation of women in STEM in Wikipedia. The official day is the 2nd Tuesday of October, but events run through the Fall. I first heard about her project in 2013, and threw around the idea of […]