It can be argued that our intelligence and overall cognitive development are strictly linked to our ability to devise and narrate stories. We are, after all, storytelling animals. Our most basic tools of communication and persuasion are built on our ability to tell stories that are more interesting than those of others. After all, time is a limited asset and so is our ability to pay attention and gain new knowledge.

With this understanding, it is hardly surprising that modern science communication is turning towards theatre and performing arts for creating emotional stories, empowering communicators and scientists with advanced storytelling techniques and therefore reaching and engaging new audiences,

This class will explore these ideas both from a theoretical as well as a practical point of view. The teaching modules will include:

  • What is a story and how to construct one
  • What are the basic rules to turn a good story into a very exciting one
  • Creating a story starting from the given science topic
  • Tuning your story to reach different audiences
  • Storytelling as an educational tool
  • How not to contaminate our stories with non-scientific or pseudo-scientific attitudes and claims
  • Turning yourself into a narrator of science: practical tools
  • Applying storytelling techniques to science communication

Bibliography

  • Randy Olson – Houston, we have a narrative (2015) The University of Chicago Press
  • Jonathan Gottschall – The Storytelling Animal (2013) Mariner Books
  • Will Storr – The Science of Storytelling (2019) William Collins
  • Theodore L. Brown – Making Truth, Metaphor in Science (2008) Illinois

Articles

Sarah R. Davies et al. – Science stories as culture: experience, identity, narrative and emotion in public communication of science JCOM 18(05)(2019)A01

 

Scholar, playwright, director and actor, Andrea Brunello works at the boundary between theatre and science. He is the founder and director of the Portland Theatre of Trento and of the Arditodesìo Company. Since 2012, he also curates and directs the Jet Propulsion Theatre, a project that brings theatre and science together, carried out in coordination with the Laboratory for the Communication of the Physical Sciences of the University of Trento. Among his various studies and specializations, Andrea has attended courses in acting and dramaturgy, obtained a degree in physics and mathematics at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Physics at Stony Brook University (New York).

Course Features

Language English
Hours 12
Assessments Yes