Science & storytelling 

This module focuses on the art and science of storytelling across a range of cultural forms, formats and methods to explore the crucial considerations to digital storytelling strategies for communicating science. Using examples drawn across a range of formats, you will develop an understanding of narrative techniques, tools and ethical perspectives to apply to a factual or fictional context.

Lectures and seminars may cover:

  • Storytellers in Science: From Hollywood to The Digital Age
  • Interactive Science Stories and Story Worlds
  • Citizen Journalism and Digital Media
  • From Science Fiction Prototyping to Critical Race Theory and Afrofuturism
  • Marketing and Communications and Science
  • Narrative Ethics as a Science Communication Method

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT: Students will produce a digital portfolio of storytelling factual or fictional pieces across the module, developing their voice, authenticity and audience engagement alongside a critical reflection on their process of development, discovery, and refinement of their practice.

Recommended Reading

  • Bennett, M. (2016). Afrofuturism. Computer: The IEEE Computer Society 
  • Dahlstrom, M.F. (2014). Using narratives and storytelling to communicate science with nonexpert audiences. PNAS 111, 13614–13620
  • Gorke, A. and G. Ruhrmann (2003). "Public communication between facts and fictions: on the construction of genetic risk." Public Understanding of Science 12: 229-241.
  • Kirby, D. (2010) The Future is Now: Diegetic Prototypes and the Role of Popular Films in Generating Real-world Technological Development. Social Studies of Science. Sage Publications
  • Liakopoulos, M. (2002). "Pandora's Box or panacea? Using metaphors to create the public representations of biotechnology." Public Understanding of Science 11: 5-32
  • Ochu, E. (2018) The Dream Life of Digital: in search of lost purpose. In: J. Condie and C. Costa (Eds). Doing research in and on the digital: research methods across fields of inquiry. Routledge (in press)

  • Turney, J. (1998). Frankenstein's Footsteps: Science, Genetics and Popular Culture. New Haven and London, Yale University Press.
  • Van den Brul, C (2014). Crackle and Fizz: Essential Communication and Pitching Skills for Scientists. Imperial College Press.
  • Rose, F. (2012). The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories. Norton Paperback Web resource:  
  • Wolf, M.J.P. (2012). Building Imaginary Worlds: the theory and history of subcreation. Routledge

Check Paul Wilshaw's short sci-fi scicomms story 'WOwoWORLDrldRLD 1.6' produced from this module here.