(Escaping) the paradox of scientific storytelling

by Michael F. Dahlstrom, Dietram A. Scheufele

Compelling stories about science can motivate people to engage and respond to relevant problems facing society. While science plays a unique role in society, providing the best available evidence for policy choices, understanding the world, and informing citizens’ daily lives, it does not hold any intrinsic advantage in creating captivating stories for mass audiences. Instead, science must compete with other storytellers, many of whom are not bound to scientific evidence. This presents a paradox—how can science preserve its credibility as curator of knowledge while engaging audiences with a communication format that is agnostic to truth?

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