A few last words before my blog hiatus

*Edited Dec 13 to add link to post on Bernadette Conant, CEO of Canadian Water Network.
*Edited Dec 14 to add link to Editors BC blog post.
Last week I talked about words we use in science communication, and tried to unpack what a lot of them mean. It wasn’t my most popular post, but it’s a topic I’m keen on given my wordsmithing background. I just wanted to share two new definitions I received via Twitter.
Science equity
Melissa Sevigny was wondering whether we should use the phrase “science equity” instead of “science literacy.” Her thought was that everyone should be able to access science if they choose to, but it’s difficult right now because of scientific jargon, journal paywalls, and more. She says “I see it as more two-way communication, with both scientist and non-scientist equally respected.” This could go along with work by Knowledge Worthy to get researchers to rank published papers depending partially on their readability and accessibility.
Community science
Audubon is moving away from the phrase “citizen science” to “community science” because, as they say, birds are for everyone, regardless of citizenship status. This is particularly important with the recent political manoeuvering around citizenship in the US, but equally important here in Canada where we have a large immigrant population.
Not just a scicomm thing
Sorting through what words mean isn’t limited to science communication. Kristin Timm noted on Twitter that, when talking about things like climate change, coproduction, and science translation (same as knowledge translation?) “we need…a wrestling match where some terms win and others die and go away so we can begin speaking the same language!”

Upcoming articles
Later this month I’m writing a blog post for Genome Alberta about fake news and science communication – more definitions and science communication fun! I also have a post on the Canadian Science Publishing blog, featuring the amazing CEO of the Canadian Water Network, Bernadette Conant. And finally, I have a blog post out on the West Coast Editor blog, all about being disabled and being an editor, and whether the two can ever meet.
Blog hiatus
In other news, I’ve decided to take a break from blogging for at least the next month. I’ve been enjoying writing my Wednesday posts, and have received a lot of great feedback over the past few months – both here and on Twitter. I’ve even had a few emails from people saying that they’ve followed my blog for years and really look forward to reading it on Wednesdays. Thanks so much to those of you who emailed me – it means a lot!
However, things aren’t going that well on the mental health front, so I don’t have quite enough “spoons” (see here for discussion of being a “spoonie”) to keep up my blog, do things with my family, do a little bit of editing and writing, and still have a bit of a life. I’m going to take the time I’d normally use for blogging and put it towards writing a few essays I (haven’t) been working on, and hanging out with my dogs. And probably sleeping more, to be really honest. Christmas is a stressful time for many of us, and I feel it more this year than I have previously.
So I wish you all a merry Christmas. Here’s hoping it works out as you’d planned – whether that’s having a huge dinner with 15 guests, or hanging out on your own reading a book and watching the Holiday Fireplace on TV.

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6 thoughts on “A few last words before my blog hiatus”

  1. Enjoy your break! Blogging is supposed to be fun to write, not just fun to read. When it isn’t fun any more, a break is in order and I’ve seen all the good bloggers do that now and again. See you on the flip side!

  2. Thank you for all your insightful thoughts. Breaks are needed to refresh and reset. This time of year is demanding and it takes a deliberate effort to step back and out, and not get sucked up into the holiday vortex. Every year I do less and less, and find myself happier and happier. Only when we are still for a while do thoughts and ideas percolate to the top of our consciousness. Thank you for the spoon analogy – I shared that with my husband who was hit by a truck while riding a Vespa last February and is still recovering – a long, long recovery including a brain injury. A natural, energetic, extrovert (in contrast with my introversion) prior to the accident, he now carefully guards his energy so he has enough for the things that matter – I heard him use the ‘spoon’ analogy yesterday in conversation with someone. I enjoy your blogs – and hope to catch more of your writing in the future.

    • Thanks for the note Cindy – I remember you mentioned your husband’s accident in your email to me. I hope he’s doing well and that the spoonie analogy was useful. I completely agree with the requirement to be still to allow ideas to percolate. That’s what I plan to do. 🙂


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