Science behind the scenes: Lay Science Writing Competition winners announced


Friday, March 18, 2022 Dr. Geraldine Walsh

For the 2021-2022 competition, we were delighted to once again partner with the Centre for Blood Research at the University of British Columbia and our friends at Science Borealis. This year’s competition challenged trainees to get creative in telling stories that help demystify science to those who may not experience it firsthand. With our theme of “Science behind the scenes”, we were looking for stories that shed light on conducting research or working in a laboratory, or stories about the interesting technologies and tools scientists work with. And new this year, we asked applicants to choose the audience they were writing for — high school students, the lay public or policy makers — and encouraged applicants to submit a photograph or image to enhance their story.

Science behind the scenes poster

A huge thank you to everyone who entered! The stories submitted spanned the breadth of the work done by our trainees to support Canada’s Lifeline. With a diversity of entries, and many elements to consider while judging the submissions, our panel of esteemed judges faced their own challenge to pick the best entries. On behalf of the panel, which included science and communication experts from Canadian Blood Services, the Centre for Blood Research, and Science Borealis, it’s my pleasure to announce the results:

1st place winner

Alexandra Witt (University of British Columbia Centre for Blood Research; supervisor: Dr. Ed Pryzdial)
for “What Does It Take to Make a Life-Saving Drug?”

2nd place runner up

Parth Patel (University of Alberta; supervisor: Dr. Jason Acker)
for “The Greatest Tool in Research”

3rd place runner up

Jaya Rastogi (Carleton University; supervisor: Dr. Jennie Haw)
for “Queer identity and blood donation”

Congratulations to our 2021-2022 winners! And watch this space as each of the awarded entries will be published on the R.E.D. blog over the next few weeks.

Winners of previous Lay Science Writing Competitions

The winning entry and runners up in last year’s Lay Science Writing Competition were also published on R.E.D. blog. You can find them here:

2020-2021: Challenges 2020

Joint first prize

Runner up

2019-20: Stories worth telling

First prize

2018-19: Research that matters

First prize

Runners up

The 2021-2022 Canadian Blood Services Lay Science Writing Competition was organized by the Canadian Blood Services’ Centre for Innovation with welcome support from the Centre for Blood Research at the University of British Columbia and Science Borealis.


Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact.

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.

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