The 2013 convening | AGENDA | STORY COLLIDER EVENT

On the first evening of the two-day convening, participants were invited to attend a public performance and taping of The Story Collider, a science-themed live storytelling series and podcast co-founded by one of the initiative’s advisors, Ben Lillie, and co-hosted by Lillie and Erin Barker. (The podcast is produced by Rose Eveleth, another invited participant at the convening.)

Science writer Deborah Blum tells a story about a childhood brush with poisoning at the September 23, 2013 Story Collider performance in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photo: Lisa Abitbol

Lillie and his colleagues produced the event in conjunction with the Evolving Culture of Science Engagement workshop, choosing a famed music club in Cambridge’s Central Square as the venue and pre-selecting four of the convening participants—science writer Deborah Blum, video maker Emily Graslie, festival organizer Kishore Hari, and physicist and author Alan Lightman—to tell personal stories that night. The storytellers played to a boisterous, standing-room-only audience of mostly young Boston and Cambridge residents, for whom the event was clearly a hit. (Listen to audio recordings of all four stories here.)

After the performance, our convening participants stayed to mingle with and interview members of the public about their science engagement habits, preferences, and perceptions. A debrief about these conversations helped kick off the next morning’s agenda back at the workshop.