One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is Radiolab. I think they do a great job of explaining the wonder of a science in a way that is entertaining and relevant. Naturally, when the topic of creating the “story” of your research came up at our last group meeting, I thought of the short piece linked to below.
In the commencement speech, Robert Krulwich describes the importance of being able to tell a story about your research. By this he means bringing your science to the level of your audience and making it sound as vibrant and exciting to them as it is to you, even if they are unfamiliar with the most basic tenants of your work. He then describes why this is vital for the health and influence of science in general.
Perhaps a further complication of this ability to tell a story is when you are involved in interdisciplinary research. Not only do you have to tell your story to lay people, but you also have to tell it to folks who may be experts in one portion of your work, but not well versed in another… or vice versa… and in a formal setting they may be in the same room for the same talk. So this is a new challenge, but perhaps it is one that will improve the ability of those in interdisciplinary work to tell their story to anyone and everyone…