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CIFAR’s Rebecca Finlay recognized for excellence in science communication

by Jon Farrow Nov 26 / 19
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will induct CIFAR’s Vice-President, Engagement & Public Policy into its prestigious fellowship in February 2020.

Rebecca Finlay leads CIFAR’s Knowledge Mobilization team, which convenes experts in industry, civil society, healthcare, and government with CIFAR research programs for in-depth, cross-sectoral engagements and collaborations. The two-way dialogue is focused on timely and relevant issues that will develop new ways of thinking and promote changes in policy and practice. 

Under Finlay’s leadership, the team is making efforts to build more immersive virtual reality (VR) by bridging the gap between VR game developers and the latest consciousness research. It is also working with schools of public health to develop curricula which include evidence about the microbiome - which is known to have an impact on human health.

“I am very thankful for this honour,” says Finlay. “This really is recognition for the entire team at CIFAR. It’s not just for the work we’ve been doing to drive societal impact, but also for the role that communication and sustained dialogue play in making research accessible to those who can put it into practice.”

The distinction, given each year by the AAAS, is awarded to those who advance science and its applications, demonstrating the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

According to the official AAAS citation, Finlay is being honoured “for distinguished work in science communication for innovators in business, policy making and civil society, thereby accelerating the societal impact of the scientific research.” This is the first time a member of CIFAR’s administration has been elected a fellow of the AAAS.

“This prestigious award to Rebecca is richly deserved,” says Alan Bernstein, CIFAR’s President & CEO. “It recognizes her many contributions that have impacted on science, policy, and innovation as well as the role she is playing on AI and Society both here in Canada and internationally. ”

This year, three of the 443 fellows being named are members of the CIFAR community: