Advertisement

Storytelling and Selling Science

  • Fabien MedveckyEmail author
  • Joan Leach
Chapter

Abstract

A common refrain in science communication ‘how to’ guides and textbooks is ‘tell a story’. But what are the downstream ethical effects of narrativizing science? This chapter considers the ethical implications of three strategies for effective science communication—narrativizing, framing and selling. Thinking about narratives, stories and framing highlight two special issues, which point to what we might think of as ethical hybridity. Firstly, science communication there is an ethical hybridity in the science being communicated and the act of communicating it. A secondly, there is ethical hybridity because of the breadth of what comes under the umbrella of science communication, each with its own underlying values. The chapter closes by considering ethical systems in adjacent fields to see if these can provide a roadmap for science communication.

Keywords

Storytelling Narratives Framing Ethical hybridity 

Bibliography

  1. Amarasekara, I., & Grant, W. J. (2019). Exploring the YouTube science communication gender gap: A sentiment analysis. Public Understanding of Science, 28(1), 68–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biba, E. (2017). Science celebrities: Where are the women? https://www.the-scientist.com/news-analysis/science-celebrities-where-are-the-women-31511.
  3. Contopoulos-Ioannidis, D. G., Ntzani, E., & Ioannidis, J. (2003). Translation of highly promising basic science research into clinical applications. The American Journal of Medicine, 114(6), 477–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dahlstrom, M. F. (2014). Using narratives and storytelling to communicate science with nonexpert audiences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(Suppl. 4), 13614–13620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fahy, D. (2015). The new celebrity scientists: Out of the lab and into the limelight. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  6. Hawe, P. (2018). [Personal Correspondence].Google Scholar
  7. Long, M. C., Goldhaber, D., & Huntington-Klein, N. (2014, February). Do students’ college major choices respond to changes in wages. Paper presented at the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) Research Conference, American Institutes of Research, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  8. Nelkin, D. (1987). Selling science: How the press covers science and technology. New York: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  9. Global Neuroethics Summit Delegates, Rommelfanger, K. S., Jeong, S. J., Ema, A., Fukushi, T., Kasai, K., … Singh, I. (2018). Neuroethics Questions to Guide Ethical Research in the International Brain Initiatives. Neuron, 100(1), October 10, 19–36.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.09.021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Nisbet, M. C., & Mooney, C. (2007). Framing science. Science, 316, 56.Google Scholar
  11. Olson, R. (2015). Houston, we have a narrative: Why science needs story. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. Phiddian, E., Hoepner, J., & McKinnon, M. (2019). Can interactive science exhibits be used to communicate population health science concepts? Critical Public Health, 1–13.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2019.1575948.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.The Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations