ComSciConCAN Communicating Science Conference

“We’re not always just sharing the facts – we’re sharing enthusiasm for the learning process and science”

ComSciCon Participants 45

The participants and organizers of ComSciConCAN 2019. Photo by Zachary Guy.

For a lot of people, “She blinded me with science” isn’t just a song from the ‘80s – it’s reality. Science can be…well, complicated to explain.For a lot of people, “She blinded me with science” isn’t just a song from the ‘80s – it’s reality. Science can be…well, complicated to explain.

ComSciConCAN is trying to change that.

The first-ever Canadian offshoot of ComSciCon – short for Communicating Science Conference – was held at McMaster earlier this month, welcoming 50 attendees selected from 400 applicants from across the country. Supported by a variety of organizations and institutions, including  McMaster's Socrates Project and the faculties of Science and Health Sciences, the event’s workshops, panel discussions and keynote talks focused on teaching scientists to share the results of their research to a broad, diverse audience – not just fellow researchers.

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ComSciConCAN’s storytelling panel. Photo by Zachary Guy.

Here are some of the participants’ reactions.

“Science is a human endeavour like any other and is only important so long as people care about it.

"Having the ability to not just do science but also communicate it effectively in an accurate yet engaging way to non-scientific audiences like the general public or political stakeholders is an increasingly needed skill in today’s world.

[At ComSciConCAN], the energy is high and everyone is incredibly encouraging of each other. Besides inspiration and practical tips for doing science communication, we are building a community of young, excited and hungry graduate students who are eager to lead Canadian science into a new era where science is not just contained in the ivory tower, but accessible and interesting for all Canadians.”

Charles Cong Xu, PhD candidate, Redpath Museum and Department of Biology, McGill University 

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“This article was first published on Daily News. Read the original article.”

 

Take an EXPLORE Course at SIS!

EXPLORE

The School of Interdisciplinary Science offers a variety of courses with a strong focus on interdisciplinary content and active learning so that learning occurs by doing. The School of Interdisciplinary Science offers a variety of courses with a strong focus on interdisciplinary content and active learning so that learning occurs by doing. Special activities are designed to give students the ability to see and simplify relationships in complex systems and find applications through relating theory with real-world experience. Students gain practical, hands-on experience in varied subjects and gain course credit at the same time.

Through our pass or fail EXPLORE courses, students gain practical skills and hands-on experiences while earning course credit. The purpose of such courses is to encourage students to take part in a unique learning experience in a small-sized setting (roughly 10-20 students) that is outside of their core area of study so that they may develop additional skills and take intellectual risks keeping in mind that a pass or fail assessment will not have an impact on a cumulative GPA. 

The EXPLORE courses are open to students in the faculty of science, arts & science, social sciences, and humanities, and can vary in the number of unit offerings from one-to-three units. A one-unit course credit translates to roughly 12 hours of time in the classroom or in the field, although the total time may vary between courses. The shorter timeline for most EXPLORE courses is to allow students to learn about a different topic of study but without the commitment of a semester-long 3-unit course.  

Given their small-sized setting, EXPLORE courses can help students build meaningful connections with course instructors and with their peers, and assist in the development of personal, professional, and academic goals.

iSci Graduating Class 2019

iSci Graduating Class 2019

Congratulations to the iSci Graduating Class of 2019! You worked so hard these past years to reach this goal. We hope you feel great about what you’ve accomplished, and hope you’ll continue to be a person who shows up day in and day out for those things that are worthwhile and important in life. We are very proud of you, and wish you all the best as you start your  next adventure.

Teaching Opportunities for 1 Unit EXPLORE courses

The School of Interdisciplinary Science is hosting a special one-hour session on Monday (May 13th) at 7PM in GSB 101 to share information about a unique teaching opportunity. All attendees must register by completing a brief questionnaire via https://forms.gle/bj69uaMAZP1zEwNv8

The School is offering a series of short, pass/fail, one-unit, small enrollment courses under the theme and course code of EXPLORE, that are available to undergraduate students in the Faculties of Science, Humanities, and Social Sciences starting in the 2nd year of their respective degrees.The School is offering a series of short, pass/fail, one-unit, small enrollment courses under the theme and course code of EXPLORE, that are available to undergraduate students in the Faculties of Science, Humanities, and Social Sciences starting in the 2nd year of their respective degrees.

The purpose of the EXPLORE courses is to encourage students to take part in a unique learning experience in a small sized setting (roughly 10-20 students) that is outside of their core area of study so that they may develop additional skills and take intellectual risks keeping in mind that a pass/fail assessment will not have an impact on their cumulative GPA.

As learning may be most effective when students can connect their academic knowledge to the real world, the topics studied in each EXPLORE course must be of relevance and interest to today’s university student and outside of a traditional academic discipline.

Given the diversity in content across the EXPLORE courses, there is flexibility in structure, organization, and the timing for when each course is offered. Although all EXPLORE courses are expected to provide at least 12 hours of instruction with direct student contact, individual instructors may choose to deliver a course across one week or several, on weekends or evenings, with the number of meetings dependent on the design of each course.

Examples of previous course offerings include Grant Writing – Integrating Science, Sustainability, and Community; Electronics for the Rest of Us!; Scientific Computing; Improv’ing Science Communication; Space Mission Design; Kentucky Caving Field Trip; 3D Printing for the Rest of Us!; Egyptian Hieroglyphs; Mischief in the Harbour.

The EXPLORE courses are offered in the fall of 2019 and the winter of 2020. Interested applicants should apply via the MOSAIC portal http://www.workingatmcmaster.ca/careers

see original article posted on the McMaster University Daily News.

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