by Lisa Willemse and Catherine Anderson
Communications, Education, & Outreach subject editors
At the end of August, the Council of Canadian Academies released a report on the state of Canadian science culture. Despite the finding that “general coverage of science in Canada in the English-language media appears comparatively underdeveloped”, they also found that “Canadians have positive attitudes towards science and technology and low levels of reservations about science compared with citizens of other countries.”
Kimberly Moynahan, Science Borealis’ Science in Society subject editor, reviewed the report in more detail earlier this week. She made two points that stood out for us as Communications, Education, and Outreach editors:
All of this creates a huge gap that Canadian science bloggers have the opportunity to fill. We certainly have that potential.
As most of you already know, it takes a great deal of commitment and time to keep up a blog and gain readership. It’s more than just dashing off a few thoughts from time-to-time. It’s writing regularly, researching, administration, technical maintenance, promotion, and relationship-building. It’s like running a business.
We definitely agree with this assessment.
It takes a great deal of time to run a blog, create podcasts, and interact with and build an audience. It can be easier to find the time when it is part of your job, but we expect that situation represents only a small percentage of bloggers. More likely, the producers of science content in Canada are doing it on their own time, and very few are likely able to make a full time career out of it independent of a paid position inside a science-based organization or institution. How many would-be science content producers end up either abandoning their projects or not even getting them off the ground, simply due to lack of time, resources, or skills? While our intentions may be good, life often gets in the way.
We’re looking for more information to help us dig deeper into these questions. We encourage you to complete our short (5 minutes!) survey, and to please share it with science communicators and content producers in Canada and abroad.