Thanks to Sarah Chow’s Sept. 4, 2012 post about science events around Vancouver for the month of September 2012 I’ve found out about something brand new and was reminded of two other upcoming events. (For a full listing and an absence of critique, please do read Chow’s post.)
The science festival (and I’m not sure why they’re calling it a festival) is scheduled for Sept. 21 – Oct. 21, 2012. ‘Around the Dome in 30 Days’ is described this way on its events page on Vancouver’s Science World at Telus World of Science website,
Around the Dome in 30 Days is a month-long science extravaganza hosted by Science World British Columbia from September 21 to October 21, 2012. This series of activities will bring the community together to showcase and explore the science and technology all around us to cultivate a general public informed, inspired and engaged with the wonders of science. Signature events will be hosted at our expanded TELUS World of Science facility, which includes our new outdoor sustainability experience, the Ken Spencer Science Park.
• The grand opening of the Ken Spencer Science Park
• National Science and Technology Week (Oct 12 to 21)
• The Community Science Celebration family weekend (Oct 13 & 14)
• Café Scientifique evening events (Sept 22 & Oct 20)
• Events for teachers, teens, seniors and more!
• Partner events and activities
• A speakers series
. . . and much much more
Extravaganza? I guess their standard for one is a little different than mine. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to describe their lineup of events as ‘special’. Clicking on the Schedule of Events will bring you a calendar, which lists events such as ‘Start up Canada’ on Sept. 21. No details. On Sept. 22, there’s a Café Scientifque, Fall equinox activities and bubble programming, and a Meet a Scientist event. No details. In fact, there are no details for any programmes on any of the 30 days.
This festival (?) seems to be the usual programming albeit packed into a shorter than usual time frame. Where are the exciting guests? Where are the details? Where is the imagination?
You can’t advertize ice cream (a science festival) and then hand out a bowl of oatmeal (your usual programming in a compressed time frame with the addition of an opening event for your new science park). The substitution will be noticed and usually resented.
Getting on to Canada’s National Science and Technology Week which is neither in September, nor one week in duration (Oct. 12 – 21, 2012) but does seem to be forgotten. Sadly, there are very few events listed nationally. This is the list as today (Sept. 11, 2012),
Western Development Museum
Title of Event: Saskatchewan Innovations – Virtual Exhibit
Date: October 14-20, 2012, All Day
Description: The WDM is proud to have a collection rich in science and technology innovations, from calculators to the ‘cobalt bomb.’ Our virtual exhibit Saskatchewan Innovations showcases seven inventions and their creators. New artifacts will be added to the website daily.
Title of Event: Family Science Olympics
Location: Medicine Hat High School, Medicine Hat, Alberta
Date: October 20, 2012, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Description: *Family Science Olympics’ fun-filled day will please, intrigue and inspire “scientists” of all ages. 10 “hands-on” events. Numerous draw prizes. *Family – at least one person over the age of 18. http://www.praxismh.ca/s&tweek.html
Canada Science and Technology Museum
Title of Event: National Science and Technology Week
Location: Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa
Date: October 12 to 20, 2012
Description: Celebrate National Science and Technology Week at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. On October 13, 14, 20 and 21, take part in exciting hands-on activities. Try your hand at science experiments, and discover how science and technology touch the lives of all Canadians.
Title of Event: Science and Technology Lecture Series
Location: Canada Science and Technology Museum
Date: October 16 and 17, 2012, 10:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
Description: Register for the Museum’s exciting lectures showcasing dynamic research by Canadian scientists and engineers. This is a perfect opportunity for students in grades 9 and up to explore potential careers in science, while supplementing your science curriculum! Each presentation is approximately 45 minutes.
Title of Event: What Museums Do
Location: Canada Science and Technology Museum
Date: October 18, 2012, 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Description: There’s more to museums than meets the eye! Go behind the scenes and learn more about some of the exciting work we do. Discover how we collect, restore, preserve and store artifacts as you visit our collection facilities and meet the people who work there. See some of the more than 40,000 artifacts in storage, and discover what they reveal about the transformation of Canada. For school groups only.
London Children’s Museum
Title of Event: National Science and Technology Week Celebration!
Location: London Children’s Museum
Date: October 21, 2012, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Description: Experiment with us while we celebrate National Science and Technology Week! Play with polymers, create your own rollercoaster, investigate acids and bases, and make some slime.
Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
Title of Event: ARTIE (Advanced Research Technology & Innovation Expo)
Location: Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
Date: October 19, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Description: ARTIE brings together elementary and high school students in an expo format to interact with local businesses in the field of science and technology, while inspiring young minds to pursue academic careers in these fields.
By this time, the list is usually longer and includes events for most if not all the provinces. Like Vancouver’s 30 day science festival, I would describe these listings as lacking imagination. They certainly don’t rouse any interest or excitement. Hopefully, this is just an off year.
The last event I’m mentioning is the Sept. 20, 2012 meeting (Writing for Action) for ScienceOnlineVancouver. I like the opening paragraph but after that I have some problems. Here’s the description from their website,
On 20 September, 2012 from 19:00 to 21:00
Science World at TELUS World of Science 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 3Z7
You have an issue you’re passionate about – and you know all the information to back it up – but how do you convey that message to an audience that will promote action? You might need different goals and messages for government officials, funders, or even family and friends.
Here’s your chance to learn and practice effective communication to different audiences, with an online twist with Andy Torr.
Andy Torr is a communications strategist in the Office of the Vice President Research at UBC. He specializes in explaining complex scientific concepts to general audiences, and he develops targeted messaging about UBC research for government, industry, funding agencies, peer universities, and the public.
The panel will start at 7 pm but we’ll have mingling (with BEvERages) at 6:30. Please RSVP so that we comply with liquor laws.
So, who is this guy and why is he qualified to teach me or anyone else? That description of Torr doesn’t provide many details. Exactly what has he strategized? Where is his science writing? Can I read it?
I did go searching and found a LinkedIn profile for Torr which lists his work experience and education (B.Sc. [Env.], Environmental Science, Water Resources at University of Guelph) but not much more.
The first para., which I’ve praised, does seem focused on a beginner with a science background who wants to get their message out to one audience or another. I notice there is no mention of a media audience. The reference to ‘promoting action’ seems similar to writing for marketing/sales collateral where they include what’s referred to as the ‘call to action’. As for learning to write for different audiences (government official, funders, family and friends), that seems pretty ambitious for a two hour event.