CSPC2017 - Engaging the public where they live: perspectives from media personalities and strategists for better science communication


Conference Panel


November 03, 2017


Shaw Center
55 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1N 9J2

Engaging the Public Where They Live: Perspectives from Media Personalities and Strategists for Better Science Communication

Panel Organizer: Shawn McGuirk & Vanessa Sung, Science & Policy Exchange

Update: we've written an article for Medium summarizing the panel proceedings! It includes recommendations for those who would like to start doing #scicomm on social media but aren't sure where to start. A quick reference:

Event details:

The steadily declining perception of science in the media has now become a critical and worldwide issue, fueled by the viral spread of pseudoscience and “fake news” in an era where misinformation is prevalent. It has become necessary to enact new and more informed strategies to engage the public on a large scale, to break the stereotype of the “elite” scientist, and to communicate the importance of evidence, consensus, and the scientific method.

Our panel of media strategists and science communicators will describe their success in reaching the public on various media platforms (Twitter, podcasts, television, etc.) as well as how they believe scientists and policy makers can leverage new media to reinvigorate public interest and engagement in science and evidence. To maximize interactions between panelists and the audience, 45-60 minutes will be dedicated to a moderated discussion and question period. The strength of this panel firmly resides in establishing a dialogue between these media experts and our audience of established and aspiring science policy experts at CSPC, and we are confident that this exchange will yield viable and valuable strategies.

The intended outcomes are to generate a set of concrete strategies with which scientists and policy-makers alike can deploy to (1) increase their social media presence in an impactful way, (2) communicate information more effectively to wider audiences, and (3) translate online interactions into more active engagement from the public. These will be communicated broadly through universities, provincial and federal agencies, and other interest groups following CSPC.

Science & Policy Exchange is a non-profit advocacy group run by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in Montreal, whose aims are two-fold: (1) to foster the student voice in evidence-based decision making and (2) to bring together leading experts from academia, industry, and government to engage and inform students and the public on issues at the interface of science and policy.

To know more about it click here!

When: 1:30-3pm on Friday November 3rd, 2017

Location: Shaw Center 55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Nora Young:

Nora Young is the host and the creator of Spark, CBC’s national radio show and podcast about technology and culture. Spark is a fun and informative look at new technology, with an eye to understanding how it is changing our relationships, our work, and our culture.

Mark Blevis:

Mark Blevis specializes in online reputation management, crisis communication and advocacy. He has provided strategic counsel to companies and organizations in the high-tech, financial services, natural resources, emergency services, energy, healthcare, pharmaceutical and publishing industries as well as to foreign embassies and Canadian government departments and agencies.

Pascal Lapointe:

Pascal Lapointe has been a science journalist for 25 years and is editor-in-chief of Agence Science-Presse, a non-profit Quebec media that feeds other news media on science.

Alyssa Lerner:

Alyssa Lerner is Senior Editor at SciShow, one of YouTube’s leading sources for science news and information. With equal parts skepticism and enthusiasm, SciShow explores the surprising and exciting realities of our universe.

Kirstine Stewart:

Chief Strategy Officer at Diply, previously VP Media North America at Twitter and General Manager at CBC Television.


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