“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
This is a quote from Philip Pullman, an author. Stories are a huge part of communication. They encourage learning beyond the lifetime of an individual. They can be passed through generations.
A good story can be remembered, there is no need to go back and read it, it can be passed by word of mouth from person to person, spreading with it a message or a viewpoint. If you can tell a good story while remaining accurate a message can be communicated so easily.
‘Don’t be Such a Scientist- talking substance in a age of style’ is a book written by Richard Olsen. There is a chapter dedicated entirely to the art of storytelling, it is entitled ‘Don’t be Such a Poor Storyteller’. This chapter highlights the importance of scientists being good storytellers, but also being accurate storytellers.
A youtube clip on what the book involves is available: if you don’t have much time I would recommend sipping to 0.50!
Do you think people can ‘learn’ to be storytellers? I’m sceptical. I think you can learn certain aspects to being a good storyteller, but I think ‘the art of storytelling’ is not something that everyone can learn. On top of this, not every scientific discover is able to ‘become’ a story. To turn something like a journal article into a story requires creativity, do you think this is something achievable by every scientist out there?
Olsen, R. (2009) Don’t be such a scientist: Talking substance in a age of style. Washington: Island Press. Chapter 3 Don’t be such a poor storyteller pp. 104-118.
Image: ‘Old books I found in the living room’ Avsilable from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Old_books_-_Stories_From_The_Past.jpg taken on: 19th September 2012