Public Engagement

The Stem Cell Network has elevated the  level of public discourse and understanding about stem cells in Canada by engaging  Canadians in artistic, accessible and innovative explorations of emerging  issues in the field and by becoming an active and respected presence online.

The mysteries and controversies surrounding stem cell research have captured the interest of the public, and books, television, film and popular press have all presented interpretations of what stem cells are and what they can do. But how do these popular representations of stem cell research impact the public’s perception of the science?

story_publicEngagement-1The Stem Cell Network has taken steps to integrate the public into greater discussions of stem cell research and the issues surrounding it by bringing the science to the public. Super Cells: The Power of Stem Cells, a museum exhibit targeting children developed by SCN and the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science in partnership with three international stem cell organizations, was launched in September 2014 and will travel through Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States through 2019. An artistic exploration of stem cell-related issues titled Perceptions of Promise featured collaborations between 24 scientists and artists to create an art exhibit that travelled to Calgary, New York City, Edmonton and Hamilton, Ontario. Online, SCN supported social media outreach, including the award-winning Stem Cell Shorts video series, an active Twitter profile and Signals blog, cementing the Network as a reliable source of information and news.

These many programs have elevated the level of public discussion and understanding about stem cells and the ethical, legal and social implications surrounding them.

Impacts

  • Signals blog was named 2013 Stem Cell Blog of the Year by University of California, Davis School of Medicine researcher Dr. Paul Knoepfler and was awarded a silver prize in the 2013 Canadian Online Publishing Awards
  • The Super Cells museum exhibit engaged three partners and more than 15 collaborators from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Japan.

  • More than 40,500 views of six Stem Cell Shorts videos, as of Nov. 2014
  • Stem Cell Shorts was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Science and the National Science Foundation’s 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge

Related Content

  • 2004-05 Annual Report, p. 21
  • 2007 Annual Report p. 25
  • 2010-11 Annual Report, p. 13
  • 2011-12 Annual Report, p. 19
  • Stem Cell Shorts
  • Signals Blog