The Story Collider's tagline is true, personal stories about science. From time to time, we are asked "Where is the science in this episode? I thought this was supposed to be about science!" This is almost always in reaction to a story that focuses on experiences and feelings not directly tied to research. Here's how I explain our choices:
First, The Story Collider believes that science is shaping all of our lives, perhaps now more than ever before. That means everyone has science stories and the right to tell them. This is why Story Collider has all kinds of people on our stages and podcast - scientists, of course, but also comedians, cops, patients, parents - and we're hungry to keep growing in this way. I've heard people call this "quietly subversive." I like that. Science belongs to everyone.
Second, we know that science is a human undertaking. A process that shapes and is shaped by flawed, funny, perfectly imperfect human beings. I care about the suffering scientists experience as they try to make careers or share their findings. I will not ignore the ways that race, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, age, class, ethnicity, and immigration status shape their struggles.
We believe sharing intensely personal and political stories of science is essential. It reassures those in pain are in that they are not alone, that they are not unheard. We hope it moves our audiences to think about how their own work and lives would benefit from solving problems that don't affect them personally. And finally, we hope these stories inspire those with power to act.
This is a great moment in time for all fans of science to think carefully about what exactly they are fighting for.