Communicating science couldn't be more important – and it's still hard to do well. Learn from the best!
The need is greater than ever to engage mainstream audiences in science. Goodness knows, the science community has been aware of this for decades. Why is it so hard to do?
Whether you're a scientist or a communicator, a Spark program will help you engage new audiences through proven processes. We are as empirical about communications as we are about science – with a huge dose of creativity added to the mix.
Spark science communications program may be eligible as a professional development activity.
BUILT ON THE BEST OF BANFF
The Spark science communications program is built on nearly 15 years of experience with the renowned Banff Science Communications Program.
Courses and fellowships are now available at the science centre throughout the year, and every few years, the flagship two-week residency in Banff will also be staged. The next Banff program will be in the summer of 2021. Plan ahead! Space is limited to 20 participants.
EXAMPLES OF COURSE SESSIONS
Each course draws upon a pool of talent. Faculty members from previous Banff courses include:
- Jay Ingram, science writer and broadcaster, member of the Order of Canada
- John Rennie, deputy editor of Quanta, former editor-in-chief, Scientific American
- Nadia Drake, reporter, National Geographic
- Thomas Hayden, Stanford journalism prof, co-editor of the Science Writer's Handbook
- Christie Nicholson, guest lecturer, Alan Alda Centre for Communicating Science
- Henry Kowalski, former Executive Producer, Discovery Channel Canada
- Trevor Day, musician, improv coach and physiology prof, Mount Royal University
- Rose Eveleth, producer of 30 for 30 Podcasts, ESPN
- Maggie Koerth-Baker, senior science editor, FiveThirtyEight
- Niki Wilson, science communicator, Jasper Dark Sky host
- Dennis Cahill, artistic director, Loose Moose Theatre
- Nancy Baron, director of science outreach, COMPASS
- Rob Davidson, journalist, TV guy, writer and producer
- Mary Anne Moser, founding director of the Banff Science Communications Program, and CEO at Spark
Spark's science communications programs are offered in three locations:
- Spark, the Calgary Science Centre
- Your location, for custom courses
- Banff, for the biennial flagship residency program
FEES AND FUNDING
Courses are $500 per person, per day. Some courses are subsidized by sponsors or donors of high-quality science communications training.
Scholarships are available for some programs.
Applicants are encouraged to look for funding available from their own employers, institution and other sources, such as:
THE REVIEWS ARE IN. THE BANFF SCIENCE COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM IS NO HOLIDAY IN THE MOUNTAINS
Testimonials from previous Banff science communications programs, now operating out of TELUS Spark, the Calgary Science Centre.
"I feel inspired and like my eyes have been opened to opportunities I didn't realize were out there."
"This program has been two of the best weeks of my life. Not only has it changed how I will communication science and opened me up to many more experiences, it has also changed my everyday life. I cannot speak highly enough of this program."
"It has been an incredible experience. I have a much better sense of what my strengths are as a communicator of science."
"I loved the program. Not to be hyperbolic but I have been singing praises since I got back. it was very creative and I left with lots to think about."
"My Sci Comm experience is a mixture of awe-inspiring views of the mountains, combined with adrenaline-pulsing improvisational performance challenges. Back in my office now, I feel like the weekend-long program was transformational in some way that I don't believe has sunk in quite yet."