You can find the ComSciConCAN program here. A block schedule is avaliable here. Below you can find a description of all ComSciConCAN panels, workshops and activities.

Panel Discussions

ComSciConCAN will feature four exciting panel discussions revolving around different aspects of science communication. Each panel will have four experts who will introduce themselves, give you some background on who they are and what they do, and will answer some preset questions developed by ComSciConCAN organizers. The floor will then be opened up for an interactive discussion where participants will be able to ask organizers their own questions. Descriptions of the four panels are below. 

Communicating with Diverse Audiences

Advocacy for science communication must be mindful about the unique perspectives and challenges faced by underrepresented groups. This panel will bring together diverse voices to show why representation matters. The panel will also provide tangible tips on how to present your science in more inclusive ways (i.e., thinking about text readers, photo descriptions on blogs, etc.). There will also be discussion of understanding when you may not be the most appropriate person to communicate a particular message to a particular audience and understanding how, in those situations, you can transition from becoming the active communicator to a facilitator that helps others share the message.  

Comfirmed Speakers: Eugenia Duodu, Ana Sofia Burrows, Jacques Kiourac & Hilding Neilson


Communicating through Policy and Activism

As scientists, many of us find ourselves in a position where we must be able to communicate key research findings to those responsible for making political and policy decisions. Further we may even want to leverage primary research to take on advocacy roles and help shape how our government views science, science funding, and the relationship of scientists with the public. This panel will bring together experts with experience in science policy, those who use science to influence policy choices, as well as those who engage in activism and advocacy work around key issues.  


Comfirmed Speakers: Katie Gibbs, Vanessa Sung, Carrie Bourassa, & Rachael Maxwell

Communicating through Education / Outreach

Science education can come in many different forms, from formal education in school to science outreach events, public engagement, hands-on learning, and media. Strategies for teaching and communicating science in each of these environments will be unique. This panel will include a range of educators with different areas of expertise to discuss their approaches to science communication. The panel will provide strategies and examples of effective communication in each of their roles. There will also be discussion of the unique challenge in Canada to provide quality science education in two languages (French and English), and how we can communicate more effectively between these groups.

Comfirmed Speakers: Julie Bolduc-Duval, Lauren Hollis, Shoshana Jacobs, & Amber Sandy


Creative Storytelling / Media & Journalism

This panel will bring together journalists, storytellers and scientists with media experience to discuss science communication through journalism and storytelling. We will explore the changing landscape of science journalism and some of the challenges of communicating science in the era of fake news. We will also consider the role of traditional storytelling in sharing knowledge with diverse audiences.

Comfirmed Speakers: Hannah Hoag, André Picard, Hendrik Poinar, Jennifer Gardy




To reinforce concepts discussed in panels, we are working to plan several hands on workshops that will involved a deeper exploration of topics discussed. These workshops will be run by experienced science communication experts. Workshop descriptions are forthcoming, but will include:

  1. Media Interview Skills / Mock Interviews (Dan Riskin)

  2. Data Visualization (Jodie Jenkinson)

  3. Science Policy (Katie Gibbs of Evidence for Democracy)

  4. Performing Science Communication Research (Chantal Barriault and Michelle Ried)

  5. Creative Storytelling (Lisa Hunt and Cherilyn Vanberkel from Steel City Stories)



Careers Mingle Dinner

Networking can be a hard, but important part of conferences. To help participants get the most out of the amazing experts attending our event, we will be holding a careers mingle dinner. This speed networking event will feature science communication experts seated at tables. Participants will rotate through tables in small groups and have the chance to ask their questions. A more informal networking event will follow.


Art & Science

This event is our most tentative - but also one we’re excited for. Science and art can unite in beautiful ways to create stunning experiences. We are exploring possibilities for an evening event that brings participants, artists, scientists, and science communicators together and presents new mediums in which to fuse science, art, and technology.