The Lifeology SciComm Program has a new flashcard course to help scientists, communicators and others learn about the craft of using analogies to help explain their science!

a screenshot of course card: "do you ever struggle to explain something complicated? One option is to use an analogy. Analogies compare the unfamiliar to the familiar.
Launch Course

An analogy is a great tool for readers to better understand and relate to complex topics. This is because analogies help compare unfamiliar concepts to concepts that may be more familiar to an audience. Analogies are advantageous (when crafted well!), but they can be tricky to create! In the course, learn how to create an effective analogy and common pitfalls to avoid.

The course creators have divided the course into easily digestible steps. In just five steps, you’ll be well on your way to crafting useful analogies! Consider your audience, brainstorm characteristics of your complex concept, identify the familiar, ensure alignment between the unfamiliar and the familiar and test your analogy! Sound simple enough? Learn more about each of these steps, including tips and pitfalls to avoid, by viewing the course now.

screenshot from course about analogies: "one problem is making sure that the analogy matches or pairs with the unfamiliar concept such that the explanation itself will not be misunderstood."
Launch Course
screenshot from analogy course: "step 2: brainstorm some characteristics of your complex concept. My analogy worksheet walks you through several questions. The first two questions are recommended."
screenshot from analogy course: "step 3: choose an everyday item, activity or process that shares some of the characteristics you brainstormed for your complex concept."
screenshot from analogy course: "step 4: make sure your everyday concept aligns with your complex concept on at least three levels. what does this mean?"

This course was created by Marlit Hayslett and Joana C. Carvalho

Marlit is the author of the course. She coaches scientists, technologists, and other specialists on how to share their professional passion clearly with their key audiences. 

Developing this Lifeology course has enlightened me to how art can partner with science to reach more and diverse audiences. As Joana and I collaborated, I began to visualize my content in ways I had never considered. It was an inspiring experience!” – Marlit

Joana illustrated the course. She is a scientist who fell in love with telling stories. Based in Lisbon, Joana works as a freelance science writer, illustrator and visual communicator. 

Working with Marlit and Paige to bring this course to life has been an incredibly positive experience! A fantastic partnership between writing and illustration, where one complements and guides the other towards clearer and more effective communication. I hope to apply the course’s lessons in my own work in the future!” – Joana Carvalho

A Webinar About Analogies

And if you want to learn even more about crafting analogies, you’re in luck! On August 25 at 1pm ET, we have a Lifeology live webinar

Have you ever tried to explain a concept from your field and found yourself trying to compare it to something else? Great intuition! In this interactive workshop, we will have fun learning a step-by-step approach for creating an analogy to explain complex concepts.

The webinar, “Communicating with Analogies: A How-To Workshop,” is presented by the course creators, Marlit and Joana! You can register now.