The 2012 Canadian Science Policy Conference is going to be held next week (Nov. 5-7, 2012) and I’m supposed to be there to moderate a 3:30 – 5 pm session on Nov. 6, 2012 “Thinking big: Canadian science culture.” Unfortunately, I’m experiencing some budgetary issues and might not be able to attend. If you can help with air miles or points, please do contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I usually (always) say thank you by posting something on the blog (if you prefer not to be mentioned by name, please do let me know). In fact, I have a new page to add thanking all the agencies and folks who helped me with S.NET 2012 conference I just attended in Holland (more about that in the next few days).
ETA Nov. 1, 2012: Here are more details about the panel which I organized and would dearly love to moderate, from my Oct. 1, 2012 posting,
As for the Thinking big panel, here’s the description,
Science culture is more than encouraging kids to become scientists to insure our economic future; more than having people visit a science museum or centre and having fun; more than reading an interesting article in a newspaper or magazine about the latest whizbang breakthrough; more than educating people so they become scientifically literate and encourage ‘good’ science policies; it is a comprehensive approach to community- and society-building.
We live in a grand (in English, magnificent and en francais, big) country, the 2nd largest in the world and it behooves us all to be engaged in developing a vibrant science culture which includes
- artists (performing and visual),
- games developers,
- business people,
- elected officials,
- government bureaucrats,
- social scientists,
- and others
as we grapple with 21st century scientific and technical developments.
As scientists work on prosthetic neurons for repair in people with Parkinsons and other neurological diseases, techniques for tissue engineering, self-cleaning windows, exponentially increased tracking capabilities for devices and goods tagged with RFID devices, engineered bacteria that produce petroleum and other products (US Defense Advanced Research Projects Living Foundries project), and more, Canadians will be challenged to understand and adapt to a future that can be only dimly imagined.
Composed of provocative thinkers from the worlds of science writing, science education, art/science work, and scientific endeavour, during this panel discussion they will offer their ideas and visions for a Canadian science culture and invite you to share yours. In addition to answering questions, each panelist will prepare their own question for audience members to answer.
The panelists are:
Marie-Claire Shanahan is a professor of science education and science communication at the University of Alberta. She is interested in how and why students make decisions to pursue their interests science, in high schools, post-secondary education and informal science education. She also conducts research on interactions between readers and writers in online science communications.
Stephen Strauss, Canadian Science Writers’ Association president, has been writing about science for 30 years. After receiving a B.A. (history) from the University of Colorado, he worked as an English teacher, a social worker, an editor before joining the Globe and Mail in 1979. He began writing about science there.
Since leaving the newspaper in 2004 he has written for the CBC.ca, Nature, New Scientist, The Canadian Medical Association Journal as well as authored books and book chapters. He has written for organizations such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Government of Ontario and has won numerous awards.
Amber Didow is the Executive Director for the Canadian Association of Science Centres. She has over 20 years experience in the non-profit sector and advancing informal education. She has worked within the Science Centre field for many years including the Saskatchewan Science Centre and Science World British Columbia. Amber’s background includes new business development; educational outreach; programming with at-risk youth; creating community based science events; melding science with art and overseeing the creation and development of both permanent and travelling exhibitions. Amber has a strong passion for community development within the sector.
Maryse de la Giroday (moderator)
Maryse de la Giroday currently runs one of the largest and longest running Canadian science blogs (frogheart.ca) where she writes commentary on nanotechnology, science policy, science communication, society, and the arts. With a BA in Communication (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and an MA in Creative Writing and New Media (De Montfort University, UK), she combines education and training in the social sciences and humanities with her commitment as an informed member of the science public. An independent scholar, she has presented at international conferences on topics of nanotechnology, storytelling, and memristors.
Dr. Moira Stilwell, MLA
Dr. Moira Stilwell was appointed Minister of Social Development for the province of British Columbia in September 2012. Elected MLA for Vancouver-Langara in the 2009 provincial general election. She previously served as Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Research and Innovation to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health with a focus on Health Innovation. She also served as Vice Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Jobs and Economic Growth. In her first cabinet appointment, she served as Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development from June 2009 to October 2010.
Prior to her political career, Stilwell graduated from the University of Calgary Medical School. She received further training in nuclear medicine at the University of British Columbia and in radiology at the University of Toronto after that. She served for several years as the Head of Nuclear Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, Surrey Memorial Hospital, and Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Clinic but left all those positions in 2009 to run for public office.
The driving force behind the province’s Year of Science in BC (2010-11) initiative for schools, Stilwell has a passionate interest and commitment to integrating science awareness and culture in government, education, and society.
Rob is the Director of Policy, Research and Evaluation at Mitacs, a leading Canadian not-for-profit that supports innovation through skills development, research, and collaboration between students, researchers, and industry. Mitacs supports research across sciences, humanities and social sciences and understands that innovation often occurs at the intersection of science and culture. Mitacs’ approach to innovation is reflected in our outreach activities, most notably Math Out Loud – a theatre musical designed to inspire Canadian students to understand and appreciate the mathematics that surround them. Inspired by Laval University’s renowned Professor of Mathematics Jean-Marie De Koninck and produced by Academy Award winner Dale Hartleben, Math Out Loud explores the relationships between math and culture as an effective outreach tool.
Prior to joining Mitacs, Rob worked as a consultant to universities, researchers and non-profit agencies for strategic planning and policy, and was active as a blogger on science policy issues in Canada. Rob embodies the intersection of arts and science, with a PhD in Biochemistry from McGill University, a BSc in Biology from UVic and a BA in English from Queen’s University.