SICB Annual Meeting 2018
January 3-7, 2018
San Francisco, CA

Symposium: Science Through Narrative: Engaging Broad Audiences (SICB Wide)

This symposium will synthesize new approaches to science communication by integrating narrative and artistic techniques from a broad range of industries. Due to the politicization of science and the proliferation of misinformation about science and its significance, the ability to clearly articulate the importance of science to the public has never been more crucial. The major objectives of this symposium are to (1) highlight effective communication strategies grounded in narrative theory, scientific practice, cognition research, and multiple artistic disciplines; (2) enable scientists to clearly articulate their research outcomes and career motivations through these strategies; and (3) demonstrate that these strategies foster inclusion in science by making material accessible and engaging for any demographic audience.

In conjunction with this symposium, the SICB Public Affairs Committee will host a workshop, "Science Through Story: Strategies for science communication inspired by Pixar's creative process." led by symposium organizer Sara ElShafie and Daniel McCoy, Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios, on Thursday, January 4, 2018, 12:00-1:30pm, Salons 3-4.



  • Sara ElShafie, University of California, Berkeley, and UC Museum of Paleontology, USA
  • Stuart Sumida, California State University, San Bernardino, USA
  • Bram Lutton, Endicott College, USA


S4-1 Friday, Jan. 5, 07:45 ELSHAFIE, SJ*; SUMIDA, S: Introduction to the Symposium, Science Through Narrative: Engaging Broad Audiences

S4-2 Friday, Jan. 5, 08:00 ELSHAFIE, SJ*; BEAN, JR; WHITE, LD: Understanding and Communicating Science as a Narrative

S4-3 Friday, Jan. 5, 08:30 JOHNSON, KR: Fossils, Lost Worlds, and the Hero’s Journey

S4-4 Friday, Jan. 5, 09:00 KIPNIS, Anna: Communication through Playful Systems: Presenting scientific research the way a game might do

S4-5 Friday, Jan. 5, 10:00 MCINTOSH, RG: Using Narrative Film Structure and Technique to Engage an Audience

S4-6 Friday, Jan. 5, 10:30 RODENBECK, EW: Inviting inquiry and exploration through data visualization

S4-7 Friday, Jan. 5, 11:00 REGA, EA: Visual narrative and jargon minimization in successful anatomy teaching

S4-8 Friday, Jan. 5, 11:30 SUMIDA, Stuart*; JEFCOAT, Brian: Anatomy, Animation and Visual Effects: the Reciprocal Story-telling Tools of Biology and Film-making

S4-9 Friday, Jan. 5, 13:30 LEPITO, Angela: The Collaboration of Feature Animation and the Scientific Community

S4-10 Friday, Jan. 5, 14:00 UL-HASAN, S*; CHENG, H; DOVE, NC; HAGERMAN, L; MONTERROSA, J; PEREZ, T; RANGEL, B; MEZA, A; ROMERO, A; MEZA, A; YANG, T; YU, B: BIOTA: A mixed-media, symbiosis in action approach to science communication

S4-11 Friday, Jan. 5, 14:30 LORDITCH, E: Tools for Science Communication from the Intersection of Journalism and Screenwriting

S4-12 Friday, Jan. 5, 15:00 LOVERD, R*; ELSHAFIE, S; SUMIDA, S; GERBIN, CS: Improving Depictions of Science in Mainstream Media

Complementary Oral Session: Session 21

Complementary Posters: P2-24 to P2-28 in Poster Session P2.

Logo concept by Sara ElShafie. Design by Bailee DesRocher. (c) 2017 by Bailee DesRocher. All rights reserved.