Science, Storytelling, and Art Collide in San Francisco! Scientists and Artists From the Entertainment Industry Will Lead a Symposium on Communicating Science Through Narrative on January 5

By Stuart Sumida, California State University, San Bernardino, and Sara ElShafie, University of California, Berkeley

Article ID: 687276

Released: 27-Dec-2017 4:45 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

  • newswise-fullscreen Science, Storytelling, and Art Collide in San Francisco! Scientists and Artists From the Entertainment Industry Will Lead a Symposium on Communicating Science Through Narrative on January 5

    Credit: Industrial Light & Magic

    Industrial Light & Magic Animation Supervisor Glen McIntosh will show scientists how to use cinematic techniques to make gripping scientific presentations in the SICB symposium. In this early concept sketch for Jurassic World, McIntosh explores the design and personality of a new character, Indominus rex (2015).

  • newswise-fullscreen Science, Storytelling, and Art Collide in San Francisco! Scientists and Artists From the Entertainment Industry Will Lead a Symposium on Communicating Science Through Narrative on January 5

    Credit: Bailee DesRocher

    Logo for the Science Through Narrative symposium (2017)

  • newswise-fullscreen Science, Storytelling, and Art Collide in San Francisco! Scientists and Artists From the Entertainment Industry Will Lead a Symposium on Communicating Science Through Narrative on January 5

    Credit: Image in part courtesy of DreamWorks Feature Animation

    Anatomist Stuart Sumida and colleagues from DreamWorks Animation will discuss the reciprocal storytelling tools of biology and filmmaking. In this character sketch from How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Sumida shows how anatomical features of real animals – including extinct ones like Allosaurus – can be used to design believable fantasy creatures. Artwork: Simon Otto and Stuart Sumida

  • newswise-fullscreen Science, Storytelling, and Art Collide in San Francisco! Scientists and Artists From the Entertainment Industry Will Lead a Symposium on Communicating Science Through Narrative on January 5

    Credit: National Geographic and Stamen Design, courtesy of Eric Rodenbeck.

    Stamen CEO Eric Rodenbeck will discuss how to create beautiful and inviting data visualization in his talk at the SICB symposium. This example, National Geographic’s “Amazonia Under Threat,” is an interactive tool designed by Rodenbeck to tell stories about one of the world’s richest and most fragile ecosystems (2016).

Newswise — What is the most effective way to share science with the public? How can scientists make information understandable and relatable? The key is storytelling, according to scientists and artists who will present at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting, which takes place January 3 – 7, 2018, in San Francisco. It will be the first scientific conference to bring together multiple representatives from the scientific community and the entertainment industry to advance strategies for public engagement with science. SICB’s exploration of storytelling in science communication will center around a society-wide symposium, Science Through Narrative: Engaging Broad Audiences, on January 5. 

“Facts do not speak for themselves, but a good story makes them meaningful and memorable,” says Sara ElShafie, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, who is the primary organizer for the symposium. “We are very excited that SICB chose to make storytelling and science outreach a major theme at their 2018 meeting.”

 The meeting will kick off on January 3 with a plenary talk from New York Times columnist and renowned science writer Carl Zimmer. In the symposium on January 5, speakers will include leadership from scientific and entertainment communities, including Kirk Johnson, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; Angela Lepito, Global Education Outreach Director for DreamWorks Animation; Glen McIntosh, Animation Supervisor of the Jurassic World franchise for Industrial Light and Magic; Anna Kipnis, Senior Gameplay Programmer for Double Fine Productions; and Eric Rodenbeck, CEO of Stamen Design, an internationally acclaimed data visualization firm.

“Putting scientists with storytelling chops together with people who are masters at getting their message to a huge population will be key to the future of science,” says symposium co-organizer Stuart Sumida, an anatomist and paleontologist from The California State University who has consulted on over 60 motion pictures and video games

Preceding the symposium, ElShafie will offer a “Science Through Story” workshop on January 4 with a collaborator from Pixar Animation Studios. The workshop is part of a series developed by ElShafie in collaboration with educators at the UC Museum of Paleontology and artists at Pixar. In the symposium workshop, scientists will learn how to make content meaningful for general audiences by using story elements such as relatable characters and universal themes.

 In conjunction with the symposium and the workshop, the meeting will feature presentations and artwork from a dozen other early career scientists and artists who have launched their own initiatives to advance science outreach. These range from dance theater, to online media productions, to accessible exhibit design. One student will even sketch-note the symposium talks, and offer a workshop on sketch-noting at the meeting.

 Attendees can also practice their science storytelling skills at a story booth in the exhibitor’s hall at the SICB meeting. Recorded stories will be made available online after the meeting.

ElShafie hopes that this meeting will inspire scientists to use all of their talents to reach the public. “Effective engagement requires both critical thinking and creativity,” she says. “This meeting will spark new discussions and collaborations toward making science accessible for all.”

 

For additional information, or to be placed in touch with symposium participants:

Sara ElShafie, (630) 209-1840; selshafie@berkely.edu

Stuart Sumida, (951) 505-8020; ssumida@csusb.edu

 

A full listing of the symposium speakers and more details can be found at:

www.sicb.org/meetings/2018/symposia/narrative.php

 

Location:

San Francisco Marriott Marquis

780 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

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