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Jul 18, 2023, 4:00 am UTC

2 min

Meet wmnHealth: Cat Lau, artist and science communicator

What draws you to communicate science visually?

I enjoy making science accessible through visuals because they really help complement the story I want to tell or the message that I want to convey. It’s a fun yet challenging practice to create something that is both accessible and scientifically accurate.

Visuals are also powerful because we process them much faster than text. We often make split-second decisions on whether or not we want to engage with something. Through visuals like illustrations or icons, I can immediately set the tone, draw people in, make them feel comfortable, and invite them to engage with the message I want to share.    

Is there a brain health topic that’s close to your heart?

Culturally appropriate mental health care and generational trauma are topics close to my heart. I am a second-generation Chinese Canadian who, like many children of immigrants and refugees, finds it challenging to navigate services which consider the cultural impacts and traumas in immigrant households. I am a strong advocate for the representation of ethnic minorities and other marginalized communities in research because it affects the accessibility and quality of services and resources we can provide to a diverse society and people from all walks of life.  

You live in Montreal, one of Canada’s most-visited cities. What do you recommend people do when there?

I love the bicycle infrastructure and green spaces in Montreal. I would recommend exploring the city on a bike, then passing by diners like La Banquise or Ma Poule Mouillée to pick up a poutine for a picnic at Parc La Fontaine, which is just steps away.  

What’s your favorite way to unwind or relax at home?

Art is my therapy and it takes many forms. Sometimes it’s doodling or painting, and other times, I am jamming on my piano or guitar while belting out some tunes.   

Cat Lau is a visual science communicator and knowledge mobilizer based in Montreal. After completing her MSc in Behavioural Neuroscience (Memorial University), she realized her true calling was at the intersection of art, science, and community engagement. Her interdisciplinary interests led her to completing a graduate diploma in Science Communication (Laurentian University) and certificate in Biomedical Visualization and Communication (University of British Columbia). Since then, she has worked for science outreach organizations and patient-oriented research networks by sharing their knowledge and research through creative mediums.

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