Scientist-bloggers, this award’s for you

Author: Lisa Willemse, 11/14/13
Stacey, Lisa Emily, Patrick and Mark on hand to pick up the Silver COPA for best blog

Stacey, Lisa Emily, Patrick and Mark on hand to pick up the Silver COPA for best blog.

We’re walking a little taller today. And carrying some silver, thanks to a Canadian Online Publishing Award handed out to Signals Blog last night in Toronto. Okay, it’s not real silver, but we’re very proud of our win under best blog in the business to business category!

The judging was based on the submission of three posts published during the past year. Selecting those three posts was probably the most challenging part of the submission process — how on earth do you pick just three when you’ve got 14 bloggers contributing nearly 100 posts during the year? Let’s just say it wasn’t easy and that we chose posts that reflected quality of writing, diversity of content, thoughtful analysis and high readership. Clearly, the judges agree that we chose well.

The awards ceremony last night was, thankfully, quite quick. There were plenty of awards to be handed out, so no speeches by any of the winners — Stacey, my formidable (in the french sense of the word) co-editor, and I were on the stage for about 30 seconds, just long enough to pick up our envelope and congratulate the Gold winner (a deserving Melonie Fullick, who blogs at University  Affairs). So, indulge me, because here is my thank you speech:

I’m immensely proud of this blog, but perhaps not for the reason you might think. Yes, it’s nice to win awards and be recognized. Yes, I’m happy this blog has contributed to important, ongoing discussions about stem cell and regenerative medicine research and has helped share knowledge with broader audiences. But I get the best warm fuzzy from the success of our bloggers.

Since 2009, I’ve worked with about 20 bloggers, some who already had established profiles or experience with other blogs or news media, but many who didn’t. All of them came from a science background (most blog in tandem with ongoing graduate or post-graduate studies) and all were interested in sharing their passion for science by writing about it. In a way, I view this blog as a stepping stone, a place for scientists-bloggers to explore and share and test their relationship with science communications, something I happen to be quite passionate about. Their success, either on this blog or in other endeavours such as other blogs or news media, video production, or elsewhere, is one I share with them. So a huge thank you to our current bloggers: Alessandra, Angela, Ben, Dave, David, HollyMark, Natasha, Nick, Patrick, Paul, Roshan, Sara, and Ubaka, and thanks to the many others who contributed in the past. Your insight, ideas and capacity is a constant source of inspiration and enjoyment. This wouldn’t have happened without you.

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Lisa Willemse

Lisa Willemse

Lisa is a science communicator with 15+ years' experience in the fields of regenerative medicine, child development and technology. She launched this blog (first as the Stem Cell Network Blog) in 2009, and served as co-editor until April 2015. She is currently the Senior Communications Advisor for the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine and has recently contributed to Motherboard, Science Borealis and the Genome Alberta and Canadian Blood Services blogs. Follow her on Twitter and Medium @WillemseLA.
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3 Responses

  1. Stacey Johnson says:

    Lisa offered to write this post, but I echo her sentiments and her thanks. It has been a fun and rewarding two years (almost) being co-editor of Signals Blog and while I’m proud of all of the bloggers, I take particular pleasure in the biomaterials scientists, the commercialization writers and some of the guest contributors who I get to work with directly. Most of you were new to blogging and have come a long way. This award is recognition of the thought and care that we all put into our work and it’s nice to get outside validation every once in a while. Congratulations everyone! Thanks to Stem Cell Network for letting CCRM join in the fun.

  2. Paul Krzyzanowski says:

    I’m very happy that Signals was recognized for all the work we’ve put into the site. Congratulations to everyone, especially Lisa who has been the major organizing force around the blog!

    I’ve learned a lot from all the other bloggers over these past years, and hope to learn more in the months and years to come.

  3. Alessandra Pasut says:

    I’m very happy Signals Blog was recognized with such a prestigious award! Lisa and Stacey you have been doing a wonderful job, supporting us in what we like to do.
    Signals has build over the years an incredible network of talented bloggers all sharing the same goal, to create a bridge between scientists and the public and increase awareness and knowledge of stem cells. I’m very proud to be part of it.

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