- This topic has 9 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks, 4 days ago by .
Well over a decade ago I had the opportunity to meet Jessica Fox, a vibrant, 25 year old storyteller employed by . . . NASA!
I could imagine storytellers maybe working for the National Endowment for the Humanities or the National Endowment for the Arts, but NASA? I think of the space agency as all science, engineering, and slide rules (okay – the slide rules reference dates me). But as Jessica explained, scientists, astronauts, engineers, all have no problem communicating with each other, but fell short when conveying to the public what they were working on, the gains NASA had made, and the benefit of space explorations for those of us on Earth, which is done through narrative, not trigonometry. So part of her job consisted in training NASA employees in the basics of storytelling, so that they could get the public to understand what they are doing.
(The best example of this in my mind was the narrative that developed around the split-second timing required to land the NASA rover Curiosity on Mars in 2012 – a hero’s journey on many levels that captured the public imagination).
This comes to my mind on reading this week’s Campbell in Culture entry on JCF’s home page, about “Using Campbell in Scientific Storytelling.” The Hero’s Journey trajectory has a role to play in conveying human knowledge beyond just the humanities.
Jessica, by the way, took a page from Campbell and left NASA to embark on her own journey, which led to her finding the love of her life in a well-stocked bookshop in remote Wigtown, Scotland – an adventure she recounts in her book, Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets: A Real-Life Scottish Fairy Tale.
tie-dyed teller of tales
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.