Making a case for investing in Canada revisited: Prioritizing our strengths

Four years ago, I wrote a blog post about Canadian brain drain, seeking to convince readers (though arguably not very well) that, with the right policies, Canada could be the intellectual beneficiary of increasingly intolerant and anti-science political climates in our two closest allies, the United States and the United Kingdom. At the time, the U.S. had just elected Donald Trump to the Presidency, and the U.K. had voted to leave the European Union behind.…

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Right Turn: The top most read blogs from 2010-2020

Last week I posted the most read blogs in 2020 so that busy readers could catch up on some of the posts they might have missed last year. While I will soon move on to fresh content, I thought it would be interesting to go all the way back to 2010 to see which posts have stood out over the last decade. First some background and observations: Signals launched in 2012 as a joint collaboration…

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Right Turn: Most popular blogs of the past year

Good riddance to 2020! I realize I can only speak for myself, but I suspect I’m not alone in moving into 2021 feeling hopeful and optimistic that it has got to be better than the year we just went through. With a new president in the White House and vaccinations being administered around the world, maybe we can now stop holding our collective breaths. While we can finally put this difficult year behind us, one…

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Science communication and policy in a year of uncertainty

Presented by Andrea Bellemare, CBC News The need for effective science communication tools and approaches has never been greater than during the COVID-19 pandemic. While policymakers use evidence to guide decisions, ineffective communication or an abundance of misinformation can undermine public trust and hinder support of science-based policy. The 12th annual Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) took place in a virtual format this year, providing an exceptionally rich program to address the contemporary challenges of…

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Leveraging Australia’s existing foundation for impact

Dr. Chih Wei Teng, CCRM Australia Dr. Chih Wei Teng is Chief Operating Officer for CCRM Australia. Regulatory reforms, significant investments into infrastructure and focused grand challenge programs are very much like an economic and science arms race to develop the next blockbuster or vaccine, such as the current race to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries around the world are making bets on homegrown market leaders, creating favourable conditions to be the first therapy/vaccine to…

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Scientists turned book authors: insights into the world of publishing

Photo by Alex Zamora, Unsplash Recently, I’ve become more curious about books as a form of science communication. In May, I reviewed a book about the science of Game Of Thrones for Massive Science. It prompted a few questions on my end. For example, how have scientists entered the world of book publishing? Was it intentionally, or was it an accidental journey? When do you decide that a single piece, such as a blog post…

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The secret sauce of lab-grown meats

Cells growing in large petri dish in medium containing FBS, from the author’s lab Canada is among the 10 largest meat consumers per capita in the world, totalling approximately 155 lbs of meat per person per year. Globally, the environmental burden of current livestock farming practices is untenable: Livestock is a major cause of greenhouse gases, a chief consumer and polluter of water at every step in the meat-production chain, and responsible for the destruction…

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Science communication tips for scientists from the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr. Amy Greer. Photo credit: University of Guelph Science communication involves educating and informing the public about scientific research and facts in a way that resonates with them. With growing public interest in promising cell and gene therapies, those working in the field can expect that mastering science communication will become increasingly important. In the talk called “Science Communication During Crisis,” Amy Greer shared examples of science communication related to the COVID-19 virus and public…

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Access and affordability of gene therapies at TMM2020

Janet Rossant, PhD. Photo sickkids.ca We heard it first. If you attended the virtual Vancouver version of the 2020 Till & McCulloch Meetings, you had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Janet Rossant, Chair of the Expert Panel on the Approval and Use of Somatic Gene Therapies in Canada, giving us a preview of the “From Research to Reality” report just issued this week by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA). Her talk was part…

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Toronto researchers awarded $1 million from Medicine by Design to advance bold new ideas in regenerative medicine

This article was authored by Julie Crljen, Coordinator, Communications and Outreach at Medicine by Design, a strategic initiative that harnesses the expertise at the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals to undertake transformative research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy, power Toronto’s bioscience sector, and strengthen Canada as a global leader in the field. Julie has several years of experience in communications and marketing in the public and non-profit sectors, with a focus on…

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