Science V. Story: Narrative Strategies for Science Communicators

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Univ of California Press, Feb 27, 2024 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 288 pages
Uncovering common threads across types of science skepticism to show why these controversial narratives stick and how we can more effectively counter them through storytelling
Science v. Story analyzes four scientific controversies—climate change, evolution, vaccination, and COVID-19—through the lens of storytelling. Instead of viewing stories as adversaries to scientific practices, Emma Frances Bloomfield demonstrates how storytelling is integral to science communication. Drawing from narrative theory and rhetorical studies, Science v. Story examines scientific stories and rival stories, including disingenuous rival stories that undermine scientific conclusions and productive rival stories that work to make science more inclusive.
Science v. Story offers two tools to evaluate and build stories: narrative webs and narrative constellations. These visual mapping tools chart the features of a story (i.e., characters, action, sequence, scope, storyteller, and content) to locate opportunities for audience engagement. Bloomfield ultimately argues that we can strengthen science communication by incorporating storytelling in critical ways that are attentive to audience and context.


Case Studies and Rival Stories
Character and Action Wedges
Sequence and Scope Wedges
Storyteller and Content Wedges
Constellation Practices
Science and Story

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About the author (2024)

Emma Frances Bloomfield is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and author of Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics: Religion and the Environment.

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