Broad Science is a Montreal-Canada based initiative dedicated to making science inclusive, engaging, and intersectional, through audio storytelling. The overarching aims of Broad Science are to: provide a platform that makes science accessible to the public, empower marginalized communities to engage with science, and encourage socially conscious scientific practices in the next generation of scientists. Broad Science currently has 3 ongoing projects, including a podcast, story slams, and a youth science communication workshop.
Broad Science youth is tailored toward students 8-17 years of age. The programme introduces young people to traditional and alternative science careers, along with the importance of communicating science to the public. During the one-day workshop, youth learn about scientific interviewing and gain radio production skills. The young science journalists then interview scientists at all career stages on the radio about their research, successes, failures and life outside the lab. This programme empowers youth to think critically about science and how it’s represented in the media. It also exposes youth, many from underserved areas, to a diversity of scientists. This exposure challenges initial stereotypes of who is a scientist and for most student’s it becomes the first time they meet a scientist in person. Their programming has been funded by The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and is currently expanding into a research project funded McGill University and The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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Rackeb Tesfaye, Executive Director and Founder, Broad Science
Rackeb Tesfaye is a PhD student in the Program of Integrated Neuroscience at McGill University, in Montreal Canada. Her research investigates biological and behavioural factors that contribute to elevated sleep disturbances in youth with autism. Rackeb’s scientific projects involve analysing large scale genomic and longitudinal sleep data. She also collaborates with researchers and families to develop novel approaches to include the diversity of perspectives and voices of youth with autism in scientific research. Outside of the lab, Rackeb is a science communicator who creates audio stories and is an outreach advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM. She is the founder and executive producer of Broad Science. Rackeb is also a vocal supporter for accessible science communication training for graduate students. She recently sat on the organising committee for the inaugural ComSciCon Canada, the first Canada-wide science communication conference for graduate students funded by the Canadian government and major intuitions across the country.