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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

45th Annual Convention

Post-Convention Workshop


Science Through Story: Engaging Broad Audiences

Sara ElShafie (University of California, Berkeley)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

8:00 AM–11:00 AM

CE available: BACB; PSY


This workshop is open to all attendees of the annual convention; no additional fee is required. Please RSVP to let us know you are coming, so we can ensure the workshop takes place in a room of appropriate size.


El ShafieBiography: Sara ElShafie is a Doctoral Candidate in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research, based at the UC Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley, investigates climate change impacts on animal communities over time. ElShafie is also passionate about making science accessible and exciting for broad audiences. She developed a workshop series on story training for scientists and science educators in collaboration with artists at major film studios. She has been running these workshops at university campuses, museums, conference venues, and even theme parks across the continent over the last three years. She recently organized a symposium, Science Through Narrative: Engaging Broad Audiences, at a major biology conference with speakers from the scientific community as well as arts and entertainment industries.


Abstract: Science is a search for evidence, but science communication is a search for meaning. Nothing makes content more meaningful than a good story. Drawing inspiration from creative processes used in the film industry, this workshop offers tools to help scientists share their content with the public through effective storytelling. Using examples from both popular films and scientific studies, we will explore how to humanize a subject through story development and draw in broad audiences through visual storytelling. In this workshop you will: (1) learn effective communication strategies grounded in film story art methods, cognition research, narrative theory, and graphic design; (2) explore and articulate your professional motivations through these strategies; (3) draft and share your own science story for use in a context of your choosing; (4) build a conceptual framework for future communication opportunities.




Modifed by Eddie Soh