The Guardians of Science program represents an attempt to provide engaging yet formal training in science communication practices. The current premise is to offer an intense program (1 full day, or possibly 2 more relaxed days), hosted by the facilities at AMBL, where four relevant experts will each provide a focused and interactive session.
Looking at the diversity of possible topics to cover, the program currently intends to bring in experts from four primary areas of expertise/experience.
1. A science literacy academic, invested in science education or public understanding of science programming and research. This individual would provide insight into some of the structural and societal forces in place that frame how science is generally perceived.
2. A science journalist, familiar and active with both traditional and non-traditional media forms, who can guide our largely scientific audience/clientele on best ways to engage with the media, particularly to ensure that their science is effectively and correctly shared with the public.
3. A science/environment policy agent who is interested in the role of science advocacy in the creation of constructive discourse towards rational science based policies. This would likely involve critical examination of some case studies of various science advocacy movements.
4. An on the ground practitioner, possibly, but not necessarily, at a stage in their career where they have formal title around science communication. In general this is an individual who has translated their scientific skills and research experience into a focus on science communication, and whose experience is particularly pertinent for those exploring career options.
Too see our expert roster for the beta Guardians of Science workshop, please check out this link. For a rough approximation of how the workshop will likely look, click on this link to see our draft beta itinerary.
As well, as the program matures, we hope to expand and rotate our roster of experts who can come to Vancouver and participate as an instructor.
As well, AMBL hopes to host this workshop at least twice a year, possibly more if there is good interest. One of these sessions will remain free for the graduate and post-doc community within UBC. The other(s) will be offered on a fee (amount to be determined, but say around $100) per person, with the sole intent of those funds being used to cover a small stipend for our expert instructors, as well as all additional funds being pooled into a mechanism where small science communication grants (let’s call them Guardians of Science Outreach Grants) can be awarded. Logistically, this is still being worked out, but stay tuned…
(Note that if you are interested in a future offering of the workshop (and you’re not a UBC graduate student or UBC post-doc), please fill out the following survey).