Top science journalists to visit Windsor this spring

As many as 250 of the top science journalists from across the country will be arriving here this June as the University of Windsor hosts the annual conference of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association.

“This conference brings together the people from across Canada who tell our communities and our country about science and the many ways it shapes our country and our culture. It is a great opportunity to showcase the important research going on here at the university, and to provide our visitors with a real glimpse of what we and this region have to offer,” said UWindsor president Alan Wildeman, whose office is helping to sponsor the conference.

The association represents science journalists and research communicators from across the country, and its mandate is to share great science news stories with as broad an audience as possible. Some of its members include Bob McDonald, host of CBC’s Radio’s Quirks and Quarks; Jay Ingram, the former co-host of Discovery’s Daily Planet; and Stephen Strauss, a former science columnist with The Globe and Mail.

Peter McMahon

Peter McMahon, president
of the Canadian Science
Writers’ Association.

Besides providing professional development opportunities for the delegates who attend, the conference will include panel discussions with speakers from a broad cross-section of science and engineering disciplines, said Stephen Fields, a communications officer in the office of Public Affairs and Communications and a co-chair of the conference committee. Conference themes will focus on sustainable manufacturing; medical and health sciences issues like battling viruses and protecting our food and water supply; and some of the most pressing environmental concerns of the day.

 “This will be a great chance for some of top researchers from both UWindsor and across the country to connect with some of the best science journalists in Canada,” said Debbie Lockrey-Wessel, a communications advisor at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the committee’s other co-chair.

Besides two days of panel discussions, the conference – which runs June 2 to 5 – will also include an optional tour day which will provide visiting journalists a chance to visit local wineries, get an inside look at the area’s green house industry and to go on a guided tour of the area’s Carolinian forest habitat.

“Everyone is really excited about coming to Windsor,” said Peter McMahon, the association’s president. “The itinerary of speakers is coming together nicely and we’re looking forward to the chance to get a good look around the area and share with our audiences some of the great stories coming out of the region.”