About Us


In 2004, a diverse group of leaders in science journalism and outreach from across Canada gathered to explore the necessity and potential for creating a groundbreaking professional development opportunity specifically tailored for science communicators. The Banff Centre, already distinguished for its prestigious specialized journalism residency programs, provided a fitting venue for this discussion. An environmental scan of existing professional development opportunities highlighted a notable gap: there were limited offerings for mid-career science specialists who needed advanced training to enhance their communication skills.

This initiative was driven by Mary Anne Moser, a visionary in the field of science communication, with significant support from Carol Holmes, then the manager of Literary Arts at The Banff Centre. Their goal was to craft a program that would address the evolving needs of science communicators and bridge the gap identified in the scan.

The response from the gathered leaders was overwhelmingly positive. Among them was Jay Ingram, a renowned science broadcaster and writer. His enthusiasm for the initiative led to his appointment as the chair of the program. Since then, Ingram has played a pivotal role as the program’s champion, chair, and even leader of the house band, contributing to its unique and dynamic character.

The program was meticulously designed from the outset to cater to the varied backgrounds of individuals working at the intersection of science and the public. This included not only journalists and writers, whose numbers were unfortunately dwindling, but also the rapidly growing ranks of public information officers at research organizations. Additionally, a unique subset of scientists who had always shown a keen interest in communication and outreach were also targeted as potential participants.

The official launch of the Banff Science Communications program took place on a stunning evening in the Canadian Rockies on August 18, 2005, at The Banff Centre. The development of the program was a collaborative effort, involving support from a wide array of stakeholders. Over the first few years, the program was refined significantly, shaped by the invaluable feedback and contributions of its participants.

The inaugural two-week residency program was held in August 2006, drawing participants from across Canada, the United States, and Europe. Each year, the program continues to attract a similar mix of North American and international scientists and communicators, fostering a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives. The program has developed a reputation for being transformative, offering approximately 20 participants each year an immersive experience that profoundly impacts their careers and approaches to science communication.

Participants in the program form a close-knit network of creative professionals dedicated to engaging broader communities in science. This network continues to thrive, with alumni staying in touch and collaborating on various projects, further enhancing the impact of the program. The Banff Science Communications program remains a vital resource for science communicators, continually adapting to meet the evolving needs of the field and helping to bridge the gap between science and the public.


Today, Banff Science stands as a hub of creativity and collaboration in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. This initiative has blossomed into a vibrant gathering place where scientific minds from around the world converge to share ideas, conduct research, and foster groundbreaking discoveries. Nestled in the picturesque town of Banff, this hub reflects the spirit of exploration and curiosity that defines the scientific community, seamlessly blending nature’s majesty with the pursuit of knowledge.

At Banff Science, researchers, educators, and enthusiasts find a thriving ecosystem that nurtures intellectual growth and collaboration. It is a place where the boundaries of disciplines blur, and the synergy of diverse fields sparks new ideas and solutions. The platform hosts a rich tapestry of scientific events, from symposiums and conferences to workshops and seminars, all designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge across various domains. Whether it’s a lively debate on climate change, an exploration of advancements in biotechnology, or the latest findings in astrophysics, Banff Science provides a welcoming space for all scientific endeavors.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Banff Science is its sense of community. Here, the exchange of knowledge is not limited to formal presentations and publications but extends to informal gatherings, where passionate discussions continue over coffee, or during serene hikes in the surrounding mountains. This blend of rigorous scientific discourse and the tranquility of nature fosters a unique environment where ideas can flourish. Scientists from different backgrounds and countries come together, finding common ground in their shared quest for understanding and innovation.

Beyond its role as a meeting ground for scientific discourse, Banff Science offers extensive resources to support research and education. The site features a wealth of publications, research papers, and educational materials that are accessible to both seasoned scientists and curious learners. These resources ensure that the latest scientific advancements are within reach, fostering a community that values continuous learning and innovation. The commitment to open access and shared knowledge exemplifies the collaborative spirit of Banff Science.

In essence, Banff Science is more than just an initiative; it is a thriving community that champions the spirit of scientific inquiry. It embodies the collaborative ethos of the scientific world, where minds come together to push the boundaries of what is known and to explore the vast unknown. As it continues to grow and evolve, Banff Science remains dedicated to inspiring and connecting the scientific minds of today and tomorrow. The legacy of Banff Science is one of shared discovery, where each contribution adds to a greater understanding of the world around us, and where every voice is valued in the collective pursuit of knowledge.