Remembering Penny Park, 2014 Fleming Medal Winner

Penny Park passed away on Friday, December 14th. We remember Penny as a friend and adviser to the RCIScience Program Committee and also for her vital contributions to science journalism in Canada. Read the 2014 Fleming Medal Citation below and please visit the Science Media Centre of Canada, which Penny founded, to learn more about their important work.

2014 Fleming Medal Citation:

Penny Park is involved in some way with most of the science news stories in Canada’s popular media. After receiving a BA in linguistics at the University of New Brunswick and a BSc in biology at the University of Guelph, Penny became senior producer of the CBC radio program, Quirks and Quarks, helping bring this award-winning program to the world for 15 years. In 1995, Penny moved to Discovery Channel Canada, shaping that network’s ground-breaking presentation of science news. 

In 2010, Penny became the Executive Director of the Science Media Centre of Canada. One of a global network of centres that connect journalists and scientists, the Centre provides “heads-up” communications about upcoming scientific announcements and works to connect the media to experts who bring a scientific viewpoint to current events. To quote Penny, “Media abhors a vacuum, and when experts are not readily available, that vacuum can be filled with unreliable information.” 

In this work, and throughout her career, Penny Park has helped fill that information vacuum. She has ensured that the traditional media outlets of print, radio and television can bring accurate and fascinating scientific information to the Canadian public.