Roger is a PhD Candidate studying Neuroscience at Western University in Dr. Steven Laviolette’s laboratory. Upon realizing the harms to public health and rational discourse that science misinformation creates, he founded First-Person Science with the aim in making neuroscience accessible, transparent and free from all forms of bias in order to combat the disinformation perpetuated by pop-science media. Roger has co-founded and worked with several non-governmental organizations devoted to advocacy including Friends Helping Friends and public outreach as well as educational campaigns geared toward vulnerable individuals and addicted populations. Roger is a former executive board member and science communication coordinator with Medical Cannabis Canada. Roger’s current research investigates how two major cannabis compounds (THC & CBD) interact across various brain regions to influence acute psychotic episodes & addiction liability. Roger is also a recent recipient of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canadian Association for Neuroscience Brain Star Award, and Canadian Neuroscience Outreach & Advocacy Award.
Chantal Lemire is a violinist, violist and PhD candidate in music theory at Western University, where she studies the intersections of speech and music in the context of performance poetry, spoken word and spoken-word songs. She is also a music theorist and developer for the Anima Project, an international research collective exploring how artificial intelligence can amplify the potential for human musical expression, as well as Director of Programming and Development for Ontario’s Orchestra North Summer Music Program. A passionate advocate for disability rights, Chantal was the 2015 Accessibility Commissioner for the Society of Graduate Students at Western University and was elected 2017 Ontario Disability Commissioner for the Canadian Federation of Students. In 2018, she received one of five national awards for disability advocacy from the National Educational Association for Disabled Students (NEADS). She is currently the chair of the Society for Music Theory Interest Group on Music and Disability. Chantal is honoured to be part of the First-Person Science team. She is constantly inspired by the team’s hard work, passion, and unwavering commitment to scientific accessibility, promoting innovative research accurately and authentically to the public.
Ben is currently a neuroscience graduate student at Western University supervised by Dr. Paul Frewen. His research interest is in mindfulness, sense of self, and non-invasive brain stimulation. In addition to being a student, he has experiences in teaching in multiple settings such as adult ESL and secondary school mathematics. Ben’s international experience from China to Canada allows him to have unique insight in communication, particularly about effective conversation between groups of people who are seemingly different. When he is not doing science, Ben likes to play the acoustic guitar and geek out on VR tech.
Catharine Mielnik is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology with Dr. Ruth Ross. Her Postdoctoral work focuses on the pre-clinical validation of cannabinoid-targeting pharmacological compounds in models of neuropsychiatric disorders. With the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada, the implication of this work is broad: from what do constituents of cannabis do to the brain, to novel drug discovery in targeting the cannabinoid system in disease states. And it is now, more than ever, imperative to ensure that the link between novel research and science communication be transparent and accessible.