Springer Nature Storytellers hosted an event at Berlin Science Week in which five researchers on the front lines of discovery shared true stories about life behind the science. We asked each of the storytellers to tell us what it was like to communicate about their research in a more personal way. Listen to the stories they told and read more about what they learned from the experience.
Theoretical quantum physicist Carlos Riofrío has some experience in science communication, but he still had some nerves when preparing to talk at the Springer Nature Storytellers event at Berlin Science Week. Read our interview below to learn why he said he things actually went more smoothly than he expected.
As a scientist I have been presenting my work around the world for about 15 years, so I do have some experience in research and science communication.
Using no notes and telling something personal was very different. Also the format was more like a stand-up [comedy] show and less like a scientific talk.
I worked with Christine Gentry from The Story Collider. She coached and advised me while writing the story, and I practiced with her via video chat. When the story was ready, I practiced a few times with my wife and friends.
I expected to get nervous and mess up the story (which I’m not sure I didn’t do) but when I got on stage I felt very comfortable. I also noticed that the hardest thing for me was to start the story. While practicing, I always struggled with that. On the day of the show, though, I wasn’t aware that there was going to be an introduction, so somehow with that addition, starting the talk became very smooth. I liked that a lot!
I learned that you should tell a story in scenes to make it more engaging.
You must care about the audience. Before preparing the talk, think about the audience and try to put yourself in their place.
Carlos Riofrío is a theoretical quantum physicist who now works as a data scientist in the automotive industry in Germany.