Broad audiences are interested in learning more about science and health topics, but struggle to access scientific information, understand it, find it approachable and relatable.
Art and narrative help make information more understandable, approachable and relatable for all audiences, whether they are scientists in other fields, policy-makers, broader publics or kids. Visual science stories can help people apply scientific information in their lives.
Unfortunately, scientists today have little training in how to bring art and narrative to their messages, and little time to learn how. That is why they should work with creative teams including artists and science storytellers to create high-impact science communication products.
We created the Lifeology platform to help scientists, artists, storytellers and audiences to work together to communicate science, especially in the form of Lifeology courses that deliver bite-size, jargon-free scientific information as illustrated, interactive “flashcards”. But the most important feature of the Lifeology platform, and what makes Lifeology courses shine, isn’t necessarily its interactive user interface, focus on visuals or shareability. It’s the platform’s built-in collaborative process that brings together scientists and creative experts.
Each Lifeology course is a collaboration – coordinated by the Lifeology team – between one or many experts, a writer and an artist, who are each allowed creative expression to help produce a more approachable, enjoyable, relatable and ultimately impactful piece of science communication.
A Collaborative Course Creation Process
This collaborative course creation process gives just the right amount of creative freedom to everyone involved. Through such diverse creativity, scientific findings and technical information and messages can be transformed into story-driven content that can engage all people and truly impact their lives.
The results speak for themselves. In user interviews and research surveys of now over 2,000 people, I’ve seen Lifeology courses again and again increase people’s knowledge of and curiosity about science and health topics, make them think more deeply about how the science relates to their lives, and even influence their behavioral intentions. People consistently and overwhelming rate the courses as extremely easy to understand, regardless of their level of formal education, and easy and fun to use.
This kind of impact is what happens when scientist and other experts are open to creative ways of communicating their work, and team up with experts in creative fields to make it happen.