On Thursday, Pittsburgh-based literary nonprofit Creative Nonfiction launches Science as Story, a free five-part lecture series featuring acclaimed longform women science writers who will address "the challenges of bridging the gap between research and storytelling."
Comprised of public lectures and smaller Q&As with writers Amanda Little, Azra Raza, Danielle Ofri, Dawn Raffel, and Ruth Kassinger, Science as Story will be held through April at venues around Pittsburgh. Creative Nonfiction says the focus is on how to bring stories that matter to a wider audience, as well as how narrative can help readers understand and appreciate the sciences' impact on their daily lives.
"We believe that crafting and sharing true stories based on real-world experience is one of the most powerful tools humans have for fostering empathy, communicating information, and changing themselves, their culture, and the world,” says Lee Gutkind, Creative Nonfiction founder. “Science as Story is a wonderful opportunity for us to explore real-world examples of the power of telling stories that matter."
Topics during the series range from cancer research to climate change and medical error to the benefits of slime. Every event is free but requires pre-registration due to limited space.
Each presenter will also participate in a separate intimate conversation about the art, craft, and business of writing narrative science. All conversations will be held at The Beauty Shoppe Arsenal Motors (3700 Butler St., Lawrenceville) and broadcasted live online.
In addition to the lectures and conversations, Science as Story concludes with a free six-week writing workshop for scientists "seeking to explore narrative, or anyone exploring ways to tell a science-focused story."
Creative Nonfiction is accepting 12 persons for the intensive series that will be a crash course in crafting engaging nonfiction for a general audience. Accepted fellows will work on developing one story to present at a special “graduation” reading at the end of the workshops. Workshops will take place between April 22 and May 27 at Creative Nonfiction’s workshop space (607 College Ave., Shadyside).
Azra Raza, author of The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last, begins the series Thu., March 12 at the Ace Hotel in East Liberty with a discussion concerning writing about cancer with scholarship and empathy.