In this work I suggest that fictional narratives can be used to communicate scientific ideas to society. My objectives were to measure the success of a literary work in communicating scientific ideas, to investigate the extent to which people can understand and remember science included in a short story compared to traditional factual texts and to explore the motivational dimensions of literary stories as a tool for communicating science.

A study was carried out to determine the efficacy of a collection of short stories with scientific content as means for communicating scientific ideas. Questionnaires were used to evaluate the amount of scientific information that individuals recognise, memorise or learn from the story.

The individuals in the study were able to identify and remember, in different degrees of accuracy, the scientific information contained in the stories. Moreover, some of the participants displayed an ability to apply, and extrapolate, the information provided in them. The two groups (narrative and factual) performed differently in remembering the scientific information over the one-week period. The results suggest that narrative information last longer than the factual one in long term memory.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science via narratives communicating science through literary forms

Aquiles Negrete   University of Bath

In this work I suggest that fictional narratives can be used to communicate scientific ideas to society. My objectives were to measure the success of a literary work in communicating scientific ideas, to investigate the extent to which people can understand and remember science included in a short story compared to traditional factual texts and to explore the motivational dimensions of literary stories as a tool for communicating science.

A study was carried out to determine the efficacy of a collection of short stories with scientific content as means for communicating scientific ideas. Questionnaires were used to evaluate the amount of scientific information that individuals recognise, memorise or learn from the story.

The individuals in the study were able to identify and remember, in different degrees of accuracy, the scientific information contained in the stories. Moreover, some of the participants displayed an ability to apply, and extrapolate, the information provided in them. The two groups (narrative and factual) performed differently in remembering the scientific information over the one-week period. The results suggest that narrative information last longer than the factual one in long term memory.

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