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Science can be hard. Good communications can be just as hard. Effective science communication can really take the cake when it comes to a challenge.
Yet the specialized subject of science communication is rarely tackled as part of journalism degrees or writing courses, and communications is a rare find as part of a science degree. We live in a period of rapid technological changes, huge advances in medical research and treatment, genetic breakthroughs, physics making the main pages of newspapers, and of course the political sticking points found around GMOs, climate change, and evolution.
To make these complex stories easier to understand, science communications is oddly not all about science. There is a strong element of art and craft that comes into play to make a story resonate with the audience.
That spectrum of skills gets the full treatment at the Banff Centre every summer and we have some financial help to offer potential attendees who want to create memorable stories.
Genome Alberta has 2 scholarships available to cover some of the program fees.
Researchers and communicators working in a genomics-related areas are eligible for one of the two $2500 scholarships. Applicants to the Banff program must indicate on their application that they require financial assistance. If there are no genomics related applicants for the aid we certainly won't let the scholarships go to waste and the decision will be made jointly between the Banff Centre and Genome Alberta as to who will receive the funding.
This year's course runs from July 28th to August 9th and as usual has an excellent faculty to lead you through a comprehensive immersion program in science communication.
Broadcaster and journalist Jay Ingram and Mary Anne Moser head up the program and this year they are joined by Henry Kowalski, Rob Davidson, John Rennie, and Rose Eveleth. The program itself is an interdisciplinary one and the instructors bring journalistic, design, writing, and production expertise to bear on making science come to life.
If you want some examples of how these skills come together here is a blog post written by Jennifer Kingsley after she completed the 2013 program.
To find out more about the program the main website is at http://www.banffcentre.org/blog/2013/09/24/science-science-learn-all-about-it/ and information on program fees and financial support is at http://www.banffcentre.ca/programs/program.aspx?id=1447&p=fees
We don't handle the financial aid directly so your request to be considered for the Genome Alberta scholarships will go through those links above.
We're looking forward to seeing what this year's crop of students will turn out so good luck to everyone who takes part in Science Communication 2014.
Genome Alberta is proud to be a supporter of the Science Borealis network.