Marjorie Wonham

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Science Communications

In my science communications work, I am particularly interested in connecting scientific research with educational and public outreach. I also investigate related areas of ethics and advocacy in science. Some current projects are described here.

How can we incorporate primary scientific literature into high school classrooms?
Reading the primary scientific literature conveys the evolution, contention, and excitement of scientific research. However, the style and content of most primary literature is inaccessible to high school students. I am adapting primary literature on infectious disease modeling (e.g., West Nile virus, HIV/AIDS, chicken pox) for use in high school mathematics classes. This work is in collaboration with Stephen Norris John NAME and the Centre for Research in Youth, Science, Teaching and Learning (CRYSTAL). 

Solving real-world problems with mathematical tools
The annual Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) Industrial Problem Solving Workshop (IPSW) brings together industrial representatives and mathematicians to solve real-world problems. Example problems have included the biomechanics of dinosaur tails, predicting successful stocks, interpreting seismic data, and designing running shoe test robots. I am working on translating real-world problems into mathematical terms, and developing other outreach materials for the PIMS-IPSW. This work is in collaboration with Thomas Hillen and PIMS.

Communications in science graduate education
The ability to communicate clearly - in written, oral, and graphics media - is crucial to success in science and academics. However, most graduate training programs do not develop communications skills. I am developing workshop and course material connecting communcations and critical thinking, ethics, and advocacy in the context of scientific research. 

Ethical and professional resources in scientific research
With the Lewis lab at the University of Alberta, I have participated in group projects to develop resources on authorship, ethics, grant writing, diversity in science, and other key topics in the professional development of effective researchers. These materials are posted on the links section of the Lewis Lab homepage. You can also find the report and presentation of my informal survey of factors contributing to women’s success in science.
 


Freelance writing and editing

As a practicing science communicator, I offer writing and editing services for scientists wishing to communicate their work, and for individuals and organizations interested in understanding scientific research in a wide range of fields. Please contact me at mwonham at ualberta dot ca for samples and contract information. 
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