Following the debate thread #7-1 | Can storytelling help science get its message more efficiently across in the public sphere?

In a recent article from the Science Daily, a report about a new study that was carried out by a research team at the University of Iowa, called for a more frequent use of storytelling in order to counter pseudoscience or unscientific claims being circulated, such as the anti-vaccine propaganda. The point being made is that the human brain is particularly sensitive to narratives, especially those involving personal cases, often making a public debate tilt in favor of arguments based on emotional stories:

« Stories are the default mode of human thought, » Dahlstrom said. « If you have a narrative, it fits the way you already structure the world. It’s more evocative, there’s character, there’s emotion and you can identify with someone in the story. Narratives, intrinsically, have much more connections to other aspects of your life. Whereas the abstract truths have to be applied and often that doesn’t happen. »

So, the easy conclusion that derives from this observation is that scientists, medical and health State institutions and all the other actors of the public debates around health issues should resort more to storytelling in order for their points to get more efficiently across the general audience. However,  scientists are reluctant to embrace storytelling, says the author of the study, in great part because they fear that narratives can also perpetuate misinformation and inaccuracies. Plus | More