Story Collider is a non profit dedicated to telling true, personal stories about science. We do this through live shows around the world, a podcast hosted by Erin Barker that we release weekly, and through community building workshops and keynotes.
Science is a deeply human exploration, and yet, in our society, we have separated both scientist and science from our human experience. At The Story Collider we aim to remind everybody that the human experience is intertwined with the story of science. Our live shows feed into our podcast where we release two stories. Inspired by The Moth we aim to present a personal moment in humanity, but our theme is always science.
This work is for all the people who have felt comforted by science when the rest of their life was falling apart, for those who’ve felt alienated by science when the rest of their life in tact, for those who wish they had paid more attention in biology class because now they keep reading Wikipedia pages about genetics, for those who feel like their only one who seems stupid in their PhD program, and for those who just like to listen to a good story.
Our Live Shows
Through producing live storytelling shows we are able to give science a human face. These events are both space for sharing and exploration - a place where people from all walks of life can share their experiences with science.
We produce regularly in 14 cities that span 4 countries
In the USA: New York, Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago, Seattle, Milwaukee, and Dallas
In Canada: Toronto and Vancouver
And in Wellington, New Zealand; and Cambridge, United Kingdom
Outside of our homestage shows, we team with organizations around the world.
In 2018 we produced 5 pro-bono shows, including in West Virginia and Maine in order to hear rural voices, and show with SACNAS (The Society for Advancing Chicano/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) to bring help bring those voices into the dialogue.
In 2018 we produced 18 sponsored shows across the US, as well as in Manchester, UK and Berlin, Germany.
We aim to extend both of these programs in 2019.
Overall we produced 59 live shows in 2018, and with 5 of our homestage cities producing their first show in this coming year, as well as a rising demand for sponsored and pro-bono shows, we expect to produce even more in 2019.
Story Collider is made up of a group of passionate scientists, comedians, writers, storytellers, educators, and activists who are eager to share true, personal stories about science.
We have a team of 38 people who work regularly producing shows in 14 homestage cities as well as shows and workshops all over the world. Our producer team include a recipient of the Society of Neuroscience Science Educator Award, an Emmy award winning TV writer, a comedian featured on Comedy Central’s This is Not Happening, a AAAS Science and Technology Fellow, multiple Moth GrandSlam winning storytellers, podcasters, journalists, bloggers, geeks, activists, policy makers, and so many PhDs.
All bios here.
We release a weekly podcast every Friday hosted by our Artistic Director, Erin Barker. In it she shares with our audience two stories that were told at our live shows that both hit a common theme.
We average around 375,000 downloads per 90 days across our full catalog.
Each episode averages over 15,000 downloads in the first two weeks.
We’ve been downloaded in 189 countries this year, in every US state and Canadian province or territories.
We have a 4.5 star rating on iTunes with over 600 reviews.
Our host Erin Barker is a storyteller and writer who first started telling stories with The Moth in 2010 and quickly became the first woman to ever win two Moth GrandSlams. She began hosting Story Collider’s original live show in NYC in 2011 and became Artistic Director in 2016. She now curates the Story Collider podcast as well as going around the country to help scientists develop personal stories for our stages. She hosts the podcast with her signature dry warmth while giving us brief insight into the world behind the stories.
We have featured stories from:
Macarthur Genius Grant Recepients, Emmy award winners, Kavli Prize winners, bestselling authors, television writers and actors, and a contestant from both America’s Next Top Model and The Bachelor!
Download / Subscribe: The show can be listened to directly from the website, as well as subscribed and listened to on most podcast platforms, such as iTunes, or Stitcher. The show is also featured on the NPR1 app.
Schedule: The Story Collider releases episodes weekly, on Friday.
We have over 12.8K followers on Twitter, 971 followers on Instagram, and over 6,000 followers on Facebook.
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We teach workshops to scientists around the country on how to craft their own personal story. Many of our workshop participants end up performing live on our stage! We see this space as a way to both giving the tools to scientists to become more effective communicators, and a way of bonding together the scientific community in a dialogue about storytelling.
We have run dozens of workshops for communities as diverse as Journalists, Science Communicators, Post-Docs, Faculty of Community Colleges, and many more.
Many of those storytellers have found their way onto our stage, and some have even ended up on our podcast.
In our workshops we’re proud to work with elite institutions like Yale, Cornell, and Cambridge University, powerhouse state schools, and small community colleges alike. We’ve also been a part of conferences with The American Geophysical Union, AAAS, Harvard ComSciCon, the Ecological Society of America, and American Mathematical Society’s annual meeting.
What People are saying about Story collider
“Story Collider is more than hearing stories. It is a night of self-discovery. “ - Show attendee, January 2018
“Before the workshop, I had a lot of feelings and a few anecdotes, but didn't know how they stitched together. The process of creating a story from that raw material was profound for me as an individual -- it helped me put a few pieces of my life together in a new way. “ - Workshop participant, November 2017
“I have never written or performed anything like this before. Working with the producers was incredibly valuable: I learned a ton about myself, my particular story, and about how to craft a good story in general. I know this is going to make me a better communicator in science and in other endeavors.” - Storyteller, October 2018
“I perform in many show in many cities, and Story Collider is one of my favorites. I would tell a story for them any day!” - Storyteller, April 2018
“I had a wonderful experience crafting and presenting my experience with science. I was surprised and heartened that people are interested in how science is not a separate part of 'real life', it is real life!” - Storyteller, April 2018
“The process of preparing for The Story Collider was extremely uniting. After the show, I felt like I had built a small community with the other story tellers and felt comfortable sharing my truth knowing The Story Collider wanted to hear it and thereby so did the audience. I think it bridges a long held gap between the scientific community and the public.” - Storyteller, October 2018