Science Communications

Best of Banff Science Communications Program

Unlock your science writing and presentation skills with the All Stars in science

Program Details

What

A digital science communications program. Learn from the best! Science All Stars from around the world have come together to help you level up your science writing and presentation skills with a dose of creativity.

Dates & Time

Thu, April 22, 2021

4 p.m. - 6 p.m. (MST)

Fri, April 23, 2021

10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (MST)

Sat, April 24, 2021

10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (MST)

Program Fees

FREE! This program is being offered for free for the first time in response to the community need for science communications. Valued at $3000.

Who should apply?

Professionals working in science fields, science museums, or individuals looking to take their science communicating skills on a quantum leap.

The world needs skilled science communicators from all walks of life — more now than ever. 

To meet this need and blow open access, a group of leading science communications trainers and have come together to offer a free 2.5-day intensive.

The only commitment — is to care! This online program is immersive. Which means, you are expected to take part in the full program, and build a network in the process.

Whether you're a scientist or a communicator, this science communications 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. For the first time, the program will be offered free of charge and digitally on Zoom. Clear your calendar! Space is limited for this immersive program.

World-class faculty. Inspiring environment. Outstanding peers. Unforgettable experience. 

As a participant, you will:

  • Build your community through science communications speed-dating
  • Learn from the makers, builders and founders of science communication
  • Be inspired, and get the tools to make that inspiration reality

Workshop Leaders & Science All Stars

  • Nancy Baron, author of Escape From the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter (Santa Barbara)
  • Kori Czuy, Indigenous Engagement Specialist, Telus Spark Science Centre (Calgary)
  • Rob Davidson, television journalist, writer and producer (Toronto)
  • Trevor Day, musician, improv coach and professor of physiology (Calgary)
  • Nadia Drake, science journalist, National Geographic (Washington, DC)
  • Thomas Hayden, Stanford journalism prof, co-editor of the Science Writer's Handbook (San Francisco)
  • Jay Ingram, science writer and broadcaster, member of the Order of Canada (Calgary)
  • Anthony Morgan, founder of Science Everywhere (Toronto)
  • Mary Anne Moser, founder of the Banff Science Communications Program and Beakerhead (Calgary)
  • Christie Nicholson, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mastercard, Board Member of SXSW and PopTech (New York)
  • John Rennie, deputy editor of Quanta, former editor-in-chief, Scientific American (New York)
  • Niki Wilson, science communicator, Jasper Dark Sky host (Jasper)
  • Samantha Yammine (Science Sam), neuroscientist, science communicator and digital media producer (Toronto)

Built on the Best of Banff

Spark's science communications program is built on years of experience with the renowned Banff Science Communications Program and some of the world's leading science communicators.

Best of Banff Science Communications Program Applications

Applications will open in March! Set a notification.

Participants are expected to attend and actively engage in the full 3 day program.

“I feel inspired and like my eyes have been opened to opportunities I didn't realize were out there.”

Former Participant of the Banff Science Communications Program

“This program has been two of the best weeks of my life. Not only has it changed how I will communicate science and opened me up to many more experiences, it has also changed my everyday life. I cannot speak highly enough of this program.”

Former Participant of the Banff Science Communications Program

“It has been an incredible experience. I have a much better sense of what my strengths are as a communicator of science.”

Former Participant of the Banff Science Communications Program

“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.”

Former Participant of the Banff Science Communications Program

“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.”

Former Participant of the Banff Science Communications Program

Examples of Program Sessions

Uber Pitch

Blaise Pascal famously said, "I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead.” In this session, participants prepare a one-minute (in other words, short!) “uber pitch” and then edit/practice in groups of three before presenting it to the toughest audience in the world – a camera!

Personalizing the Impersonal

Science communication often focuses primarily on getting the science right. At its best it is powerful storytelling, with all of the profound and personal connections that make for great stories. This session encourages participants to ask why science matters to them, or, for that matter, to anyone else? Participants reveal something about themselves by personalizing their communication style.

Freestyle Social

The day warms up with a freestyle debate on “would you rather” questions. This opening exercise is designed to set the foundation for effective science communications. Which is not about science. Well, it is all about the science by design, but it cannot be about the science at first. People are busy and they have other things to do. Why will they want to engage with you? You need to meet them where they are. And with respect. And, often, entertainment.

Improv

Many science writers are asked to speak publicly and take their work to the stage. Here’s your chance to prepare! Except there is no need to prepare – it’s improv night. Inhibitions are kindly asked to leave the room.

Your science stories are waiting to be told

Applications will open in March! Prepare to lift your science communications and presentation skills to the next galaxy.

Set a notification