A moonthly newsletter from Science Borealis
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December 22, 2018
Produced every full moon, the Science Borealis Newsletter brings you a selection
of recent posts along with important updates, reminders and story ideas for
our members and bloggers.

Click here for Science Borealis news and announcements.

Fun Moon Fact ☽

At about one-quarter the size of Earth, our Moon is the fifth-biggest in the entire solar system. The only larger ones are Jupiter's moons Ganymede, Callisto and Io, and Saturn's moon Titan.
⚠️The Science Borealis Newsletter is changing ⚠️

This will be the final newsletter under our moon-thly format! Starting in 2019, our newsletter will become more streamlined and more frequent, with a shorter list of posts and a bi-weekly publication schedule. If you have any questions, you can email us at

Editors' Picks

A selection of some of our favourite posts this lunar cycle.
Residencies for the science-minded artist — On the Borealis Blog, Katrina Vera Wong and Raymond Nakamura review some Canadian programs that help artists develop their scientific chops.
Cannabis is NOT a dog's best friend — Ainslie Butler explains why dogs are more sensitive than humans to THC.
Multi-talented organisms: How seaweeds can affect our daily lives — Guest blogger Samanta Hoffmann of the Nature Conservancy of Canada interviews a phycologist to understand how seaweeds could contribute to a sustainable future.
Building Indigenous relations in an Age of Reconciliation — Science Borealis co-founder Sarah Boon provides a dispatch from a workshop co-hosted with Curiosity Collider and the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC)
More featured posts from our network:

Lessons learned at the Canadian Science Policy Conference 2018
—Stefanie Novakowski

Only numbers and algebra
— Jeremy Cote

This year, give the gift of less screen time
— Travis Saunders

My most important work is not what I’ve always thought
— Stephen Heard

Brown Like Me: The need for representation in toys
— Kiron Mukherjee

Don't punish your dog for peeing in the house
— Zazie Todd

Waouh ! Un crâne de tricératops sous le sapin de Noël ?
— Alan McDonald

The universe is playing us a tune
— Emily Deibert

Field work Is hard work
— Lisa Buckley

How motion capture works
— Kai Antle

To Orbit! The next Canadian astronaut
— Ryan Marciniak

Of mammoths and men
— Alina Fisher

Poaching in Africa’s last great elephant refuge
— Adam Byers

A wildly delicious holiday guide
— Tina-Louise Rossit

9 gift ideas for the science buff in your life
—Suzanne Johnston

Canada’s ‘scientific integrity’ policy and its effects on transparency
— Nahomi Amberber

Un-BEE-lievable: The Buzz on Native Bee Conservation in Canada
—Rachel Siblock

First CRISPR gene-edited babies? Ethics and the science story
— Maryse De La Giroday
Upcoming Events

December 25Isaac Newton’s Birthday

December 27Louis Pasteur’s Birthday

January 5 — National Bird Day

January 17 — Kid Inventors' Day

February 2 — World Wetlands Day
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Cartoon of the Month

by Ray Nakamura
News and Announcements

Updates from the Science Borealis team

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Remembering Penny Park

Penny Park, a fierce supporter of science journalism in Canada, passed away on December 14. Penny worked for the CBC radio program “Quirks and Quarks” and the Discovery Channel Canada, where she helped develop the science television show “,” later renamed “Daily Planet.”

In 2010, Penny became the founding executive director of the Science Media Centre of Canada. She also played a key role in the development and launch of The Conversation Canada. In 2014, the Royal Canadian Institute for Science awarded Penny with the Sandford Fleming Medal & Citation for her contributions to the public understanding of science.

Penny was tenacious, charming, whip-smart and generous. In shaping the careers of so many, she has ensured that her strong voice will carry on in science journalism, both in Canada and around the world. 

Call for Volunteer Resource Manager

We are looking for a Volunteer Resource Manager to serve as the first point of contact for the 30-40 Science Borealis volunteers. The Volunteer Resource Manager is responsible for recruitment, onboarding, renewals, support and offboarding of all volunteers. See the job description here for details.

Call for Volunteer Administrator

Science Borealis is looking for a self-directed organized person to handle administrative tasks for our Core Team and Board of Directors. This remote volunteer Admin position provides a unique opportunity to be part of the inner workings of Science Borealis and work directly with our leadership. If you have excellent organizational and written skills and a few hours a week to contribute, contact us at  and convince us you are the person for the job.

Call for Social Media Volunteer

We are also looking for someone to help generate Social Media content that promotes and showcases our team and members of our blogging network. The time commitment would be 2-3 hours per week. See the job description for more details.

Call for Borealis Blog Subject Editors

We are looking for new Borealis Blog Subject Editors. These volunteers write for the Borealis Blog and oversee our syndicated feed for the 12 subject categories that Science Borealis covers.

We have openings in: 
  • Biology and Life Sciences
  • Communications, Education & Outreach
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Technology and Engineering
Interested? See the job descriptions here. Then email us at  and tell us a bit about yourself.

Welcomes & Farewells 

A fond farewell to Catherine Lau, who started writing for us in 2016 and recently retired as Biology & Life Sciences co-editor. We wish her all the best in future endeavours.

A warm welcome to the newest blog on our network, from the lab of Professor Daniel Gillis at the University of Guelph. Go check it out!
Our Sponsors
Science Borealis may be free to join and free to read, but it isn't free to produce! Our volunteers log thousands of hours each year to keep things humming, from our subject editors to website managers to our social media team.

We would also like to extend our thanks to Canadian Science Publishing for supporting our web hosting and site maintenance for the last four years and to Genome Alberta for their financial commitment to support our ongoing operations. Thank you! 

If you or someone you know may be interested in sponsoring Science Borealis, please get in touch!
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If you want to support quality Canadian science communication, consider sponsoring Science Borealis! Your donation could go towards compensating our hard-working volunteer Editorial Manager and Outreach Manager for their time, and toward supporting our technical logistics. See our sponsorship package here!
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Science Borealis is an inclusive digital science salon featuring Canadians blogging about a wide array of scientific disciplines. Science Borealis is a one-stop shop for the public, media, educators, and policy makers to source Canadian science information.

All our registered bloggers are automatically members of Science Borealis. However, subscription to this newsletter is open to anyone. If you received this e-mail from someone else and would like to subscribe, click here. If you are not yet a member but have a Canadian science blog you'd like to syndicate with Science Borealis, click here.

Newsletter Team: Tyler Irving, Raymond Nakamura, Ainslie Butler

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