Canada’s first and only comprehensive Master’s program in Science Communication was celebrated today at Laurentian University. The first cohort of students enrolled in this 12-month intense program began courses in early September.
The Master’s program in Science Communication delivers a multi-disciplinary experience that covers the theory underlying good communication, as well as the practical challenges of effectively communicating science and the issues involving science in society. Students currently enrolled in the 9-month Graduate Diploma in Science Communication program have been able to transition to the Master’s by completing an additional three months of study.
“This Master’s program is a natural extension of the graduate diploma that we have been offering in partnership with Science North since 2005,” said Dr. Chantal Barriault, Director of the Science Communication program at Laurentian University. “The Master’s in Science Communication will address the growing demand we have seen for our graduates. Science is woven into decisions at every level of our lives. People should be able to make informed choices without needing a science degree to do that. That’s where our students come in.”
Barriault says trends in science research, industry, and public policy have prompted a need for trained people in this rapidly growing field. Laurentian’s graduates are specialists in communicating the work of leading researchers and scientists to diverse audiences, from young children to politicians. They are employed in a range of fields, including government and non-governmental organizations, industry, science centres, zoos, aquariums, popular science publications, and leading research institutions.
Guy Labine, CEO of Science North stated, “Science North’s core mission is to involve people in the relationship between science and everyday life by communicating science to people in a way they can understand and enjoy. When we launched the Science Communication Graduate Diploma Program 12 years ago, in partnership with Laurentian University, we saw it as a natural extension of what we do every day at our science centres. The evolution of the program to a Masters reflects the growing acknowledgement in the world of the importance of science communication. Graduates of this program can have a real impact on our understanding and comprehension of science today. All of this wouldn’t be possible without our close partnership with Laurentian University, Dr. Chantal Barriault and Dr. David Pearson, and my predecessor Jim Marchbank.”
“We are thrilled to be offering this exceptional Science Communication program at the Masters level and we look forward to building on its incredible success with our partners at Science North,” said Serge Demers, Vice-President Academic and Provost.
More information about the program can be found at https://laurentian.ca/program/science-communication.
About Science North
Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction and an educational resource for children and adults across the province, operating the second- and eighth-largest science centres in Canada. Science North’s attractions include a science centre, IMAX® theatre, planetarium, butterfly gallery, special exhibits hall, and Dynamic Earth: Home of the Big Nickel, a separate science centre focused on mining and earth sciences. In addition to the two science centres in Sudbury, Science North also oversees an award-winning-Large Format Film production unit, as well as an International Sales unit, which develops custom and ready-made exhibits for sale or lease to science centres, museums, and other cultural institutions all over the world. Science North, in partnership with Laurentian University, offers North America’s first and only Science Communication program. As part of its mandate, Science North provides science experiences throughout Northern Ontario including outreach to schools and festivals, summer science camps and more, and has a permanent base in Thunder Bay providing outreach to the Northwest. Science North is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For more information please visit sciencenorth.ca.
About Laurentian University
Laurentian University offers an outstanding university experience in English and French, with a comprehensive approach to Indigenous education. Laurentian University, situated on the traditional territory of the Anishinabe peoples of Atikameksheng First Nation, prepares students as agents of change and empowers them to create innovative responses to local and global challenges. Laurentian’s students benefit from small class sizes and exceptional post-graduation employment rates. With nine Canada Research Chairs and nineteen research centres, Laurentian is a recognized leader in its specialized areas of research strength, which include mining innovation and exploration, stressed watershed systems, particle astrophysics, rural and northern children’s health, and occupational health and safety.