From climate change to genetic engineering, science dominates our world, but rapid advances make it ever more difficult for ordinary people to understand the issues. A new program at Mount Saint Vincent University hopes to bridge that gap.
The Halifax school is starting a bachelor of science (science communication) degree this fall, combining the core training of a scientist with the skills of a public-relations expert.
Amy Thurlow, chairwoman of the department of communications studies, says the idea came up two years ago when a chemistry professor suggested combining the Mount’s strong science program with its renowned public relations degree. “She thought that synergy between public relations and science might be a really innovative program,” Thurlow says.
The program is the first of its kind in Canada.
The four-year degree will offer a solid science foundation, so students could go on to medical school, but also prepare students to work for companies in the industry side of science or environmental groups like the David Suzuki Foundation.