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Putting People Back into Science: A Science Storytelling Workshop with Elizabeth Connor

  • Science New Zealand 86 Lambton Quay Wellington, Wellington, 6011 New Zealand (map)

Note: This Workshop is full.

“Storytelling is as old as humanity itself. And in a modern world saturated with electronic media, nothing resonates quite so much as the personal narrative of a storyteller. In science, this narrative has a special role, because what we do so often seems mysterious to those outside our profession.  Story telling in science, whether of science valour or science beauty, provides a very human window into our world. Telling stories, simply and clearly, is the means by which we connect science with humanity.”

I learnt about the importance of storytelling in science from my mentor, the great scientist and storyteller Professor Sir Paul Callaghan (quoted above). Humans have been telling stories since the African grasslands and they are still the most effective way of conveying information and capturing an audience.

In essence storytelling is about creating a personal connection with your audience.  To achieve this you need to get through the jargon, bureaucracy and ‘official’ language to find out what people really care about – the authentic story.

For the past decade, storytelling has been at the heart of my science communication practice the key to the success of many projects. I have used storytelling to gain support and funding for supercomputing infrastructure in NZ, to draw together communities, to build trust around new initiatives such as STEM education, to connect science with industry, to engage new audiences through Magnificent Science Variety Shows and to train scientists to communicate their cutting edge research to any audience.

For the first time ever, in this new science storytelling workshop, I will share the techniques and insights I have gathered. We will start by examining the relationship between science and storytelling. Then through a series of practical exercises we will explore interview and storytelling techniques to uncover, craft and communicate authentic science stories.

Improve your ability to:

  • Captivate your audience
  • Generate support for new ideas, research or initiatives
  • Build team culture
  • Get funding
  • Uncover, craft and tell authentic science stories
  • Interview scientists
  • Find purpose, passion and inspiration


Elizabeth Connor

Elizabeth Connor

Elizabeth Connor is the inaugural winner of the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize and founder of the KinShip, an expanding community of professionals who work together to help scientists communicate and communities connect with the wonder of science.

When Elizabeth was fourteen she had a dream of starting a renaissance that would start in Wellington, New Zealand and spread around the world reuniting science, spirituality and the arts and reconciling conflicts. Now, almost twenty years later, her plan is roughly the same.

Over the last decade her projects have included training workshops and storytelling competitions for scientists, STEM education initiatives, podcasts, publications and Magnificent Science Variety shows combining science with dance, theatre and music.

Her clients include Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Council, The MacDiarmid Institute, The Rotary Club of Wellington, Victoria University, Science Communication Association New Zealand and The Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser.

She has a Masters in Science Communication from Imperial College in London and an Honours degree in Physics and Maths from Victoria University of Wellington.


This workshop is an add-on to the 2015 SCANZ Conference.

Separately bookable half day workshops: bid writing, story telling, crisis management.

Times may vary slightly. Please register your interest at

  • $60 each for conference delegates

  • $100 each casual rate (not attending conference)
Earlier Event: 27 August
Presentation skills workshop
Later Event: 30 November
Bid Writing Workshop with George Slim