Story Art for Science Communication

We are very excited about the student workshop at WSN100, which will teach science communication skills using storytelling strategies from filmmaking. Story artists who work at Pixar Animation Studios will share techniques that filmmakers use to construct a story and to translate that story into visual form. A working group session will help participants begin to outline their own scientific stories using these techniques. Adapting story art strategies for science communication can be transformative for researchers at all levels, and while this workshop is student-focused, we encourage participation by any and all WSN attendees (space allowing).

For a taste of what we will cover at the workshop and to get your mind primed and ready, consider these questions about your own scientific story:

1. Is there a ‘what if’ concept I can explore in my work? (a new thesis/ concept that changes things?)

2. Who are the key protagonists in my work? What are their needs, and what are the forces working against them? What’s interesting about them?

3. Are there any huge changes in the environment or life of my characters that they must adapt to?

4. What is my personal connection to this story?

5. Is there a larger theme revealing itself?

We will spend time at the workshop developing techniques to help you address these (and other) topics when communicating your research.

Immediately following the workshop, everyone (attendees and others) is invited to socialize and unwind during the student mixer at Knuckles, the hotel bar.

Confirmed speakers:

Sara ElShafie PhD Candidate UC Berkeley

Sara ElShafie
PhD Candidate
UC Berkeley

Sara ElShafie is a doctoral candidate in Integrative Biology, with a focus on faunal responses to climate change, at the University of California, Berkeley. She is passionate about making science accessible and exciting for the masses. Sara loves film, scuba diving, traveling, and playing with her pet geckos. She is a lifelong Pixar fan

Daniel McCoy Technical Supervisor Pixar

Daniel McCoy began his career with a tech internship at NASA. In 1989, he took a chance on a little startup that played with digital images and dreamed of making a feature film some day. Dan has worked on the production of Pixar films ever since. His favorite projects include Shading Supervisor on “Ratatouille” and Supervising Technical Director on the short film “La Luna”. Dan also loves biology, and is passionate about communicating science the way he develops Pixar films – so that the whole audience can enjoy it.