Douglas trainees shine at the SciencePop final on May 27 & 28, Justine Fortin and Marjolaine Rivest-Beauregard win first prize

June 1, 2023

On May 27 and 28, the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) presented the provincial finals of Science Pop, a Quebec-wide competition focused on science communication. This event, held in person at the IRCM, was hosted by Radio-Canada’s Chantal Srivastava, was an opportunity for finalists from 15 research institutions across Quebec to wow the audience with their 5-, 2-, or 10-minute presentations aimed at sharing research initiatives or findings with the general public.

The Science Pop program was put together by the IRCM and supported by the FRQS. Through this program, 15 institutions from all across Quebec organized local science communications events, which ultimately selected finalists in each of three categores: Popularization, a 5-minute presentation aimed at bringing research to the general population, Valorization, a 2-minute presentation accompanied by a press release, and Mobilization, a 10-minute presentation focused on social engagement. The finalists from each institution gathered last weekend and competed in the three high-level challenges, which led to the selection of nine winners.

“I would like to congratulate all the students who, through their participation in the Science POP competition, have demonstrated a remarkable talent for popularizing science. Their captivating passion for sharing their knowledge and advances in health research is a source of inspiration for the next generation. Initiatives such as these help foster dialogue between science and society to increase scientific literacy, and thus combat misinformation.”
Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Quebec

We are pleased to highlight the 3 presentations that moved forward from the Douglas, and who were chosen through the 2023 VIVA Awards: Sophie Simard (Mechawar Lab), in the Popularization Challenge, Kristelle Alunni-Menichini (Perreault Lab) in the Valorization Challenge, and Julie Fortin & Marjolaine Rivest-Beauregard (Brunet & Ferrari Labs) in the Mobilization Challenge. The three Douglas finalists impressed the audience and the judges, with Justine Fortin & Marjolaine Rivest-Beauregard taking home both the first prize and the People’s Choice award for the Mobilization Challenge.

“Seeing all this talent being deployed to explain science in simple, accessible terms is extremely satisfying, and gives confidence in the ability of a whole new generation of researchers to build bridges with the public, creating fertile ground for the circulation of rigorous information on crucial issues, such as health.”
– Dr. Jean-François Côté, President and Scientific Director of IRCM.

As the winners in the Mobilization Challenge, Fortin & Rivest-Beauregard, both doctoral students at the Douglas, were interviewed on Radio Canada’s “Moteur de recherche” on May 29, 2023, and are being offered internships in one of a  selection of science communication organizations in Quebec, as well as a $1000 cash prize; they also take home a $250 prize for the People’s Choice Award.

Congratulations again to all the participants, and best of luck as they continue on their journeys of research and science communication!