Storytelling as a sensemaking strategy [June 22, 2022]

The Communications Community hosted a session on how to think about storytelling as an opportunity to inspire interest and create change. We heard from Liz Neeley, CEO of Liminal, who drew from literature on uncertainty and risk communication, misinformation, psychology, narrative identity, and sensemaking to explore storytelling strategies for communities, organizations, and individuals. Together, we covered why stories are important, how they achieve their impact, and what to consider in developing a story-driven project.

Liz Neeley is the founder and CEO of Liminal. Her work began in ocean conservation and now focuses on helping scientists create change within their labs, academia, and the world. Liz is a lecturer at Yale, where she is the Senior Advisor for Science Communication with the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative. She is the Chair of the AAAS Committee on Science and Technology Engagement with the Public (CoSTEP) and an external advisor to the Institute for Diversity Sciences and the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program. She was previously Executive Director of The Story Collider. Find her on twitter @LizNeeley.

Liminal is a strategy and consulting firm focused on sensemaking aspects of science communication. Sensemaking is the term we use to describe how people collect information, generate plausible accounts of what is happening, make decisions about the best course of action, and translate their experiences into future iterations of the cycle. We apply concepts from communication research to support deeper engagement with science, and we are particularly focused on the roles of narrative, identity, and persuasion in sensemaking efforts. Our clients range from universities and scientific societies to independent research institutes and hospitals. We are committed to helping researchers and other STEM professionals to be more ambitious, effective, and inclusive in how they think about and share their knowledge.