What does it mean to be a science communicator? New platforms such as blogs, snapchat, and YouTube are rapidly transforming Canada’s media landscape—as well as the way we share, consume, and engage with research. As a result, today’s science communicators are more diverse than ever before, including everyone from traditional journalists to Instagrammers, authors to vloggers.
In this study, Dr. Germana Barata is collaborating with the University of the Fraser Valley, the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC), and the Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Quebéc (ACS) to investigate these nontraditional science communicators and their research dissemination strategies, asking: Who are these new communicators and how do they identify themselves? Do they differ from more conventional science media in terms of standards of ethics, accuracy, and practice? Who are their audiences, and how do they reach them?
Having answers to these questions will allow us to map out the main challenges and goals of science communication in Canada. Doing so will, in turn, give all those interested in the public’s engagement the grounding to develop training, support, and outreach activities that can improve the quality of public engagement with science across the country—now, and for the future.