SciCommTO Conference 2020
Experienced science communicators and newcomers alike join forces to tackle the biggest issues in science communication today!

Scientists in Canada recognize the need to communicate their work with the public. Many want to do so, but with issues like climate change and vaccination more prominent than ever, good communication is vital. In fact, poor science communication may do more damage than no communication at all. With approximately 70% of Canada’s top jobs now requiring some level of science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), it’s disheartening that despite huge activity in youth STEM programming, only 22% of Canadian youth express a lot of interest in pursuing science at the post-secondary level.

Building networks among scientists and communication professionals alike is essential to developing a healthy and vibrant science culture in Canada. Innovation in science communication (or ‘SciComm’) won’t happen without connecting these communities, sharing Canadian experiences and learning about related work from around the world.

That’s why RCIScience and the SciXchange at Ryerson University have partnered to bring you the SciCommTO Conference 2020 – a cross-sector meeting bringing together practitioners from a range of science communication disciplines. Experienced science communicators and newcomers alike will tackle the biggest issues in science communication today, shaping an engaged Canadian science communication community through idea exchange and sharing best practice.

This pilot initiative from the SciCommTO Network will focus on moving the sector forward. With a look to the future, we’ll also learn from the past, explore case studies from other countries, and consider perspectives and learnings from those outside of the SciComm sector.

Tickets cost $75 for a two-day pass and include refreshments, lunch, evening entertainment (entry to Spark After Dark on Friday February 21), and access to all speakers’ presentations.

This conference is possible thanks to a PromoScience grant from NSERC.


Are bursaries available to attend the SciCommTO Conference 2020?

Discounted tickets are available for students. Additional discount requests should be made in writing to demonstrating need.

What networking opportunities are there at the conference?

As part of the conference, we will be hosting a speed networking session on Friday February 21. There will also be an opportunity to network during our evening entertainment at Spark After Dark on Friday, and during conference refreshment and lunch breaks.

What is the conference for?

The Conference aims to build capacity within the science communication community in the Greater Toronto Area. Specifically it will:

  • Address key issues facing those doing and researching science communication, youth outreach and public engagement.
  • Link this diverse group together, to share best practice, new ideas and move the sector forward.
  • Help the community to find inspiration and connections from culture and each other.

Who is the conference for?

We welcome anyone who works in or has an interest in public and youth engagement with science. That includes people who work in all sectors, as well as freelancers and small consultancies. The Conference will include sessions for all levels of experience, from seasoned pros to those new to the sector.

We hope discussions encompass the many pillars of science communication, from live events to new media, writing and research and that they recognize different levels of expertise in each field.

When and where is SciCommTO 2020?

  • When: Friday February 21 – Saturday February 22 2020
  • Where: Ryerson University. Specific building(s) TBC.

Spark After Dark will take place on Friday February 21 at Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5T 2L9.

Is the venue physically accessible?

Yes. More details coming soon – please contact if you have any questions or concerns.

What does a ticket include?

The conference fee helps us cover administrative costs and includes:

  • Access to speakers’ presentations
  • Refreshments
  • Lunch on Saturday
  • Evening entertainment (access to Spark After Dark)
  • Access to follow up conference materials

Please note that the conference fee does NOT include accommodation.

What if I can only attend one day of the conference?

Please contact for a discounted rate for one-day attendance.

What is Spark After Dark?

Once described as a ‘chaotic cabaret of science’, Spark After Dark is essentially a showcase combining science with creativity. It’s a prime opportunity for us to put theory into practice, with a diverse group of Torontonians taking the stage to get creative about the world around us in the form of spoken word, comedy, song, dance, and more. Find more information about spark after dark here.

If I can’t attend, can I cancel my ticket, or give it to a colleague?

Cancellation of a conference place must be made in writing to, and acknowledged. Any cancellations advised less than 14 days prior to the conference will not be refunded but a colleague can attend in your place.

I’m interested in volunteering at the conference. What can I do to help?

If you are interested in volunteering during the conference or at Spark After Dark please email

I’m interested in delivering a session at the conference. Where do I submit an application?

  • If you are interested in participating at the conference, please complete our content submission form by October 30 and a member of our team will follow up in due course.
  • If you are interested in performing at Spark After Dark, please contact Nathan at for more information.