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Science is a search for evidence, but science communication must be a search for meaning. General audiences will only care about science if it is presented in a meaningful context. One of the most effective ways to do this is through storytelling. Stories are integral to all cultures. Studies indicate that stories even help audiences to process and recall new information. Scientists sometimes worry that storytelling will conflate empirical evidence with fabrication. But when telling non-fiction stories, it is a process of recognizing the story elements already present in the subject material and distilling the most concise and compelling account for a target audience. In this paper, I review literature, offer examples, and draw from my experience as a scientist and a communication trainer to explore how storytelling makes science comprehensible and meaningful for general audiences.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Integrative and comparative biology
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Literary works whose subject matter is science or about the profession of science and related areas.
Works written for non-professional or lay audiences.
The process of making a selective intellectual judgment when presented with several complex alternatives consisting of several variables, and usually defining a course of action or an idea.
The common orally transmitted traditions, myths, festivals, songs, superstitions, and stories of all peoples.
Publications intended to be issued on an ongoing basis, generally more frequently than annually, containing separate articles, stories, or writings.