Skip to main content

The Science of Narrative: Why Storytelling Is Important to Research

Summer Institute
Mental Health
Academic Year
2024 - 2025
Instruction Method
Synchronous Online
Start Date
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
End Date
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Class Time(s)
W, Th, 8:30am - 12:20pm
Auditors Allowed
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
One Year Only
Next Offered
Only offered in 2024
Are you concerned with the divide between the public health field and "post-truth" society, a culture predicated on emotional rather than logical appeal, and is dismissive of research as secondary, elitist and not relevant to people's lives? Do you believe that the end goal of research should NOT be publication? Do you want to learn a way to connect your scientific work with non-researchers?
Introduces the basic components of storytelling. Examines the science within the narrative arts. Challenges students to present the art within public health sciences. Emphasizes critical perspective on how nuances and merits of public health research should be expressed to relevant audiences, including community members and policymakers. Explores why storytelling is a powerful modality for conveying uncommon knowledge and insight in a manner that appreciates common experiences. Prepares students to combine data and narrative while acknowledging both as essential to effective public health advocacy.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Practice the basic tenets of storytelling
  2. Think critically about how to effectively discuss public health science to non-scientific audiences
  3. Relate research to the real (i.e., not hypothetical, theoretical or conceptual) circumstances of populations
  4. Successfully integrate narrative and data to create a holistic and more effective approach
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 50% Participation
  • 50% Final Project
Special Comments

Students are required to complete pre-course and post-course assignments. The final project will be due on June 30, 2024.