Storytelling and the Power of Narrative

“Stories are a mechanism that human beings have evolved to package information, explain who we are, how we survived, how we have coped, sometimes succeeded, sometimes not so much. And then, [S]tories help us in sharing that information across time and space.” Liz Neeley, from the Story Collider.

One note, thought on the ethics of storytelling. The storyteller should respect the agency of the listeners. To be ethical and truthful, the narrative, and the story overall, should represent broader truths. No outliers, please; down this path, whereby the story becomes a tool of manipulation. Not helpful. Not honest. Not welcome.

The Shortwave intro goes like this:

Storytelling can be a powerful tool to convey information, even in the world of science. It can also shift stereotypes about who scientists are. We talked to someone who knows all about this – Liz Neeley, the Executive Director of Story Collider, a nonprofit focused on telling “true, personal stories about science.”

You can tell the folks at NPR your personal science stories by emailing, Plus, do some #scicomm with Maddie on Twitter — she’s @maddie_sofia.

This episode below was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and edited by Viet Le.

Check out Story Collider’s website to hear the latest episodes of their podcast and see upcoming live shows.

Here’s the crew at Story Collider —

And here’s the whole piece from NPR Short Wave:

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