Digital storytelling can be a powerful tool for water researchers

  • 04.12.2022
  • The Conversation

Storytelling and science may, at first glance, seem like strange bedfellows. Scientists usually share their research through academic journals and books or at academic conferences.

But storytelling is a powerful way to share scientific research with non-expert audiences. Today, stories can be built digitally: photos, videos and audio clips create visually, emotionally effective stories that are relatable and easily understood.

There are several reasons for taking this approach. One is that making scientific research accessible is essential for citizens to participate in democracies. And, rather than a researcher sharing people’s insights and experiences in a journal that’s not read by many, they can work with participants to craft stories that give voice to marginalised and oppressed communities.

Good digital storytelling is a way to impart different forms of knowledge in a way that stimulates action. For instance, it can influence policy. However, the tool needs to be used by those who have been trained to accurately, ethically and sensitively report various aspects of research findings.