By: Amanda Freeman

Throughout the semester, a course taught by Emory’s Dr. Amanda Freemen (Center for the Study of Human Health) and Lisa Paulsen (Theater) titled “Storytelling for Scientists” has examined how storytelling techniques can be used to make presentation of scientific information more engaging.  In particular, the students practiced the application of narrative techniques within the context of traditional modes of scientific communication: oral presentations and poster presentations.  These techniques, however, are applicable to contexts outside of arenas that typically showcase scientific findings—such as conferences and journals—and may be even more important when trying to reach an audience that isn’t seeking the information. This is the final challenge of the course.

For the final project, the students are turning campus into a walking museum that highlights Emory research findings. They’ve worked in teams to craft a story that is told one yard sign at a time. Building on the principles the course covered throughout the semester, the signs include concise text, a visual image, and a QR code that links to an online component. 

The final exam for this innovative course consists of a “Story Walk”, for which students are placing the signs at their designated locations (see below). If you are in the Emory area, we invite you to take a walk across campus this afternoon (May 2nd) to learn more about the exciting research findings by Emory researchers.  We will start putting out the signs at 3pm and they should all be in place by 5pm. Come soon because, with commencement just around the corner, the signs may not be up for long!

Below are some details the team topics and sign locations.

Team 1 – Healthcare Innovations of the Human Microbiome

Sign locations:

  1. Quad (introduction)
  2. Between the track and DUC-ling (microbiome and chronic disease)
  3. Outside the Center for Women (Cox Hall) (vaginal microbiome in gynecological cancer)
  4. School of Medicine (fecal microbiota transplants)
  5. Student Center (conclusion)

Team 2 – Mental Health

Sign locations:

  1. Emory Main Hospital (intro)
  2. Emory Clinic (prenatal depression)
  3. CHOA (children/adolescent depression) 
  4. Outside Rollins Public School of Health (Adult depression, many undergraduate and graduate students)
  5. Woodruff circle (late life depression, Route A shuttle to Wesley Woods) 
  6. Emory Main Hospital (conclusion)

If you can visit, tweet us a picture at @EmoryCSHH

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