The 2018 William Edmond Logan Award

The Royal Canadian Institute for Science announced at the Canadian Science Policy Conference that it is awarding 2018 William Edmond Logan Award to The Science Communication Program at Laurentian University. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the public understanding of science by a Canadian organization. The announcement was made this morning in Ottawa during the 10th annual Canadian Science Policy Conference.

Laurentian’s Science Communication Program is the first and only comprehensive program of its kind in Canada. It provides to communicators the training to transform scientific information into accessible and understandable knowledge for the public. The program prepares students for a growing number of careers in science communication, including employment with government and non-governmental organizations, science centres, zoos, aquariums, museums, popular science publications, and leading research institutions. Students become experts in communicating science-related topics and play an active role in the understanding of science for good decision-making.

Graduates of Laurentian University’s Science Communication Program are working all across Canada. According to Dr. Reinhart Reithmeier, Chair of the Royal Canadian Institute for Science, “These graduates are taking science communication in this country to new heights, helping Canadians of all ages recognize, understand and appreciate science in the world around them. We believe that this is key to fostering a strong science culture in Canada.”

“Trends in science research, industry, and public policy have prompted a need for trained people in this rapidly growing field,” said Dr. Chantal Barriault, Director of the Science Communication Graduate Program. “Laurentian’s graduates are specialists in communicating the work of leading researchers and scientists to diverse audiences, from young children to politicians. We are incredibly honoured to receive this award."

“This is great news and a well-earned recognition for a very creative and hardworking team. Laurentian is proud to be a pioneer in its rapidly growing field and I want to recognize the essential contribution of our partner, Science North, in the delivery of the program,” said Interim President and Vice-Chancellor of Laurentian University Dr. Pierre Zundel.

The program is delivered as a partnership between Laurentian University and Science North which provides students an experiential learning opportunities for research and application of science communication principles. The program proposes a master’s degree (M.S.Com) or a graduate diploma (G.dip) in Science Communication.

The William Edmond Logan Award was created in 2015 as a companion to the Fleming Medal to recognize organizations rather than individuals. Past winners include Celestica, Sanofi Pasteur Canada and IBM Canada. Together, the Fleming Medal and William Edmond Logan Award are two of a very small number of awards for outstanding science communication efforts in Canada.

William Edmond Logan was RCIScience’s 3rd President, holding office in 1851 when the Canadian Institute received its Royal Charter from Queen Victoria. Further, he founded the Geological Survey of Canada, one of the few Canadian scientific organizations older than RCIScience. A renowned geologist and surveyor, Canada’s tallest peak is named in his honour.

The Royal Canadian Institute for Science (RCIScience) is a platform for public engagement with leading scientists, featuring free live lectures and panel discussions and an extensive online archive. Founded in 1849, RCIS is among the oldest societies of any kind in Canada. For 169 years, we have worked towards the goal of an informed public that embraces science to build a stronger Canada.