Youth-of-T Talks Receives Inaugural Jay Keystone Memorial Award for Innovation in Scientific Communication

Mar 31, 2021
Sarah Topa


Dr. Jay Keystone, an expert in Tropical Medicine and long-time faculty member in the Institute of Medical Science (IMS), is fondly remembered for his skill at communicating complex scientific material. Dr. Keystone taught IMS students about the importance of excellence in scientific communication through the MSC1010-1011Y/H seminar course, bringing his keen sense of humor to the classroom. In addition, his lectures were cherished by the Summer Undergraduate Research Program students, which were rendered as part of the seminar series.

In recognition of Dr. Keystone’s contribution to the education of graduate and medical students at the University of Toronto (U of T), IMS created the Jay Keystone Memorial Award for Innovation in Scientific Communication. This annual award provides a grant of up to $2,000 to a team of IMS students supported by a faculty/mentor, to create a new initiative to demonstrate innovation and excellence in the communication of medical science to diverse audiences.

The inaugural winner of the award is the new initiative Youth-of-T Talks. IMS students from U of T Talks and Raw Talk Podcast are jointly running a Climate Change and Health Symposium on June 2, 2021 where experts will discuss the far-reaching impact climate change has on science, communities, physical and mental health, as well as future perspectives on climate-related policy and healthcare. By engaging community youth groups as partners, Youth-of-T Talks will work with young people to translate scientific information from the Symposium into accessible multimedia educational materials for younger audiences. Given the complexity of the subject matter, they plan to distill the information into infographics and short, interactive videos designed for three grade groups: juniors (grades 4-6), intermediates (grades 7-9), and seniors (grades 10-12). The Youth-of-T Talks materials will also include at-home activities for understanding individual carbon footprint for juniors, climate anxiety for intermediates, and climate activism for seniors.

The group includes Laura Best, Muzaffar Bhatti, Rachel Dadouch, Kimia Gannad-Zadeh, Jesse Knight, Swapna Mylabathula, Hannah Shuster-Hyman, Isis So, Sajeevan Sujanthan and Claire Wunker. The goal of this new initiative is to expose a young audience to the multifaceted science of climate change in an age-appropriate way and use education to empower them to partake in discussions of solutions for climate issues. Congratulations to the entire Youth-of-T Talks team and stay tuned for updates on this exciting new initiative.