Story-Telling for Science: One Scientist’s Story

Friday, 19 December 2014: 8:00 AM
Richard B Alley, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States
Science is the most successful way humans have developed to understand the world, and application of the knowledge gained has been essential in allowing a few million hunter-gatherers become a few billion grower-builders. Yet, at least anecdotally, there is a growing tendency for many people to reject science without knowing what they are rejecting, and the ranks of scientists are thinned by having so many students arrive at our universities neither prepared to study science nor open to the possibility of doing so. This growing gap represents a growing opportunity for scientists to use their expertise in the service of humanity. Based on my experience, the biggest requirement for scientists to do so is simply to engage, but engagement is more successful in teamwork with experienced communicators and unexpected voices, and using narrative and history.