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  • Aimee Catalan

Collaborate through storytelling

The power of a great science story has the potential to increase your collaboration and partnership potential, grow your science and your profile.

As a science communicator, my primary goal is to partner with my clients so they may convey their science, research stories and messages to their audience in the best possible way. Stories can take the form of a narrative or speech and, as was the case with the Queensland Family Cohort or QFC, as a visual infographic.

For the QFC, they wished to illustrate how collaboration with almost 150 researchers and more than 50 research institutes and universities from across the globe eventuates in a brains trust that seeks to capture experiences and data from more than 10,000 families across Queensland, Australia.

A great story, whether as a poster or graphic, a virtual conference speech or a zoom call, lends strength to strategic partnerships, diverse collaborations and engenders thought provoking, persuasive communication. It is one of the oldest forms of passing information from one person to another. Our brains become actively engaged when we hear or tell a compelling narrative. Whether as a call to action, to obtain funding, garner support, or describe a tale of a scientific journey from then until now, science stories are a foundation of enlightenment, understanding and change.

Regardless of your field of excellence and expertise, there is potential to widen the net of collaboration. The QFC infographic of spheres, pins and patterns is an illustration of international partnership and communication. Most of those discussions began with a science story.

In this period of ‘pandemic’ where our comfortable and traditional norms of engagement and non-verbal communication, e.g. the good old handshake, have been altered with incredible immediacy, never has the ability to remain collaborative, communicative and forward thinking been more valuable to scientists, researchers, and those like me, who help them tell their stories to others.

There is strength in collaboration, partnership and communication, virtually or in person.

Tell your story and tell it well.

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