The Story Collider | St. Louis Public Radio

The Story Collider

Cancer researcher Samuel Achilefu telling a story at the Story Collider podcast's live taping at the Ready Room in June 2018.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The reason someone chooses to pursue science can be complicated. For Samuel Achilefu, a cancer researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine, his interest in science can be traced back to a traumatic childhood. At the Story Collider’s most recent live taping in St. Louis, he described growing up in Nigeria during the 1960s, when civil war forced him and his family to leave their home and spend years looking for a safe place to live.

David Kovaluk / St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday, June 28, Science Reporter Eli Chen and comedian and writer Zack Stovall hosted another sold out Story Collider event at The Ready Room.

Good news from our newsroom

May 17, 2018
Debra R. Beckman | Missouri NEA

Awards. Recognition. And a party! 

Writer Michaella Thornton telling a story at The Ready Room in St. Louis for The Story Collider's live taping in March 2018.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s a fact that as humans, we have to deal with the curveballs life throws at us. For example, Emma Young, a Ph.D biology student at University of Missouri-St. Louis, had imagined a career full of adventures in remote places of the world. But she discovered along the way that fieldwork is lonely, frustrating and sometimes prone to moments of panic involving unknown species of spiders.

As for Michaella Thornton, a writer and English instructor at St. Louis Community College, all she wanted was a child with her husband. But it took longer than she imagined to get pregnant, which led to deep feelings of shame and discouragement from her father as she considered in vitro fertilization. 

Andrew Oberle, a chimp attack survivor who helped create a holistic trauma program at Saint Louis University, shared his story at a live taping of The Story Collider in October 2017.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Even as a young boy, Andrew Oberle knew exactly what he wanted to do for a living: work with chimpanzees. He was living his dream six years ago at an animal sanctuary in South Africa when tragedy struck.

Oberle recounted his survival of a near-fatal attack by chimpanzees, along with his experience along the road to recovery, during a Story Collider event this past fall. The piece also aired on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Saint Louis University biologist Gerardo Camilo telling a story live on stage at The Story Collider event at The Ready Room on Oct. 5, 2017.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The night began with a story told by a science journalist who tried to cure her autoimmune disease by swallowing parasitic worms. It finished with the story of a young primate researcher who nearly died after being attacked by two chimpanzees. 

On Oct. 5, St. Louis Public Radio and The Story Collider podcast collaborated for the second time to present five personal science stories live, on stage, at The Ready Room. It was the first time I hosted a show with local comedian Zack Stovall since we joined The Story Collider's team of producers last summer. The theme of the night was "Resilience." Some of these stories showed how resilience is necessary to scientific research. Others showed how they used scientific knowledge to overcome major challenges in their lives.

St. Louis Public Radio Science and Environment Reporter Eli Chen.
St. Louis Storytelling Festival

On May 2, St. Louis Public Radio hosted The Story Collider, a national podcast and live storytelling group, for an evening of personal stories about science told on stage under the theme of "Eclipse." The event was sponsored by the St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Eli Chen, St. Louis Public Radio’s science and environment reporter, shared a story at the event. We heard her story on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. Listen here:

Angela Speck, an astrophysicist at University of Missouri-Columbia, tells a story at The Story Collider even at St. Louis Public Radio in May 2017.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Like it or not, science is a part of our lives. It affects our health, our environment and our understanding of who we are and how we fit in the universe. At a time when our knowledge of how the world works is quickly expanding, climate change is altering the planet, and the state of health care hangs in the balance, it’s especially important to share stories about what science means to us personally.

Astrophysicist Angela Speck, pediatrician Ken Haller and science reporter Eli Chen performed at The Story Collider podcast’s debut in St. Louis this past May.
St. Louis Storytelling Festival

Everyone has a personal connection to science.  

Maybe you were  reaching for a Nobel Prize with your high school science fair project until an unforeseeable error caused it to go down in flames. Or, perhaps you’ve been  a researcher on an expedition thousands of miles from home, surrounded by people who don’t understand what you’re doing there. Or, you’ve listened to your doctor diagnose you with a condition that you’ve never heard of before.

Ken Haller shares his story at The Story Collider podcast event on May 2, 2017.
Sleet Photography | St. Louis Storytelling Festival

On May 2, St. Louis Public Radio hosted The Story Collider, a national podcast and live storytelling group, for an evening of personal stories about science told on stage under the theme of "Eclipse." The event was sponsored by the St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Ken Haller, SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Childrens Medical Center and professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University, shared a personal story from his first years as a doctor in New York City during the rise of the AIDS crisis.

St. Louis Public Radio's Science and Environment Reporter Eli Chen is part of the organizing effort to bring The Story Collider to St. Louis next week.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Next Tuesday, St. Louis will play host to Story Collider, a traveling storytelling show that records stories about science.  The event’s theme is “Eclipse” and will feature five storytellers from the St. Louis region, in partnership with the 38th annual St. Louis Storytelling Festival, which takes places May 3-6.

Have a good science story? We want to hear it!

Feb 6, 2017
Paula Croxson, Wyatt Cenac and Ira Flatow share science-themed stories at a live Story Collider show.
Provided / The Story Collider

The St. Louis Storytelling Festival and St. Louis Public Radio are teaming up to bring The Story Collider to town. The Story Collider, a science-themed, live, storytelling podcast, will feature a show in St. Louis on Tuesday, May 2.