Science Stories for #WATWB

WATWIC-Bright-TuqBlkThe last Friday of the month is the day for my post for the We are the World Blogfest. This blogfest was born out of a desire to change the tone on social media to one of positivity, peace, and connection. Participants come from all around the world.

In the choices I have made for my previous #WATWB posts, I am noticing a theme emerging in which a creative individual, often a woman, finds a new way to communicate and bring people together through science, music, art, or some combination of these. This month’s story, Ph.D. student pioneers storytelling strategies for science communication, fits well in that theme.

Sara ElShafie is a graduate student in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. She has struggled with a process that is probably familiar to many of us: how to explain the work that she loves and is passionate about to family and friends. I think this struggle can be particularly difficult for scientists because of the field’s arcane vocabulary, yet it is also particularly vital in these technological times.

ElShafie is working with Pixar Animation Studios to help scientists frame their work with compelling themes and emotional depth in order to reach broad audiences. I myself became interested in science as a teenager through reading science fiction stories such as Dune and The Martian Chronicles and watching TV shows and movies like Star Trek and Star Wars. I am thrilled to see more stories coming out from actual scientists that can inspire young and old, scientist and lay person alike. Because these days, we all need to be scientifically literate, no matter how old we are and whether we work in science or not.

The author at the
The author at the “Science of Pixar” exhibit at the Museum of Science, Boston

For updates on ElShafie’s workshops, follow @sci_story on Twitter or join the mailing list for public workshops at (I did!)

This month’s #WATWB co-hosts are Simon FalkRoshan RadhakrishnanInderpreet Uppal, Lynn HallbrooksEric Lahti,and Mary J Giese. Please stop by and say hello!

If you’d like to join the blogfest, click Here to enter the link to your post. The more the merrier!

10 thoughts on “Science Stories for #WATWB”

  1. This is brilliant – I’m so glad you shared this story. And how interesting you’ve found a “theme” in the posts you’ve shared for #WATWB. I’m fascinated by the challenges of communication between disciplines and between groups of people, and I’m not surprised you’re finding these connections involving women. It seems to me that women are primarily focused on relationship – the sort of horizontal flow between things – and so, might be especially masterful at trying to find these connections. What a great, and fun, approach she’s taken. I’d love to see her do a TED talk.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi KL – what an excellent idea – ElShafie obviously thought out of the box on this one – and so worked her way round how to achieve her aims. Loved reading your post and then reading her article on how it all came about “Ph.D. student pioneers storytelling strategies for science communication”. I hope we see one of her presentations sometime soon – I’m sure you’ll let us know!! Cheers – fantastic WATWB story … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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