How Authentic Storytelling can build Public Trust in Science

In conjunction with the University College Dublin (UCD) Áine Gallagher will provide this bespoke workshop for their Public Engagement Community of Practice. This interactive workshop will provide participants with an introduction to authentic storytelling and knowledge in how this can be used this within their own practice of public engagement. See here for full details.

What is Authentic Storytelling?

The comedian Maria Bamford says, “my friends are always telling me how easy it is to cook.” She follows this with an astute observation “but not any easier than not cooking”. Shock horror, she’s telling us that she’s an individual who doesn’t cook. She even tells us that she eats cheese out of a squeezy tube. 

Hearing people being human and admitting their ‘flaws’ can help us relate to them. It can release us of our shame as we say to ourselves “Oh thank God, I’m not the only one”. It can create a connection with the speaker which helps us to like them, trust them and feel safe. This is the art of authentic storytelling. 

How can it benefit the Science Community?

Science and research are notoriously difficult to explain. This is because science is messy. Certainties do not always exist. However, certainties are often what the public expects. So how can we find the connections between the flaws of being human and the flaws of science to relate to the public, meet these expectations and build trust? This workshop will explore how authentic storytelling can be used as a tool to do public engagement and build trust in science. It will be fun and interactive and a chance for us to present ourselves as imperfect humans. Humans who may lick the spoon before we put it back in the jam jar or humans who may not always feel completely in control of what’s happening in our lives. Shock horror!

For details and to register for the workshop, see this link.