The theme of the evening was “Homing Signals” and featured stories from five different storytellers: Samuel Achilefu, Samoa Asigau, Jada Taline Foster, Sheyna Gifford, and St. Louis Public Radio’s Executive Editor Shula Neuman. Their stories included a broad range of science-storytelling – from life as a Nigerian Civil War refugee to setting animal traps in tribal territories in Papua New Guinea.
While the show is about science, anyone whose background connects to the subject is welcome to pitch a story. Chen and Stovall then select each event’s storytellers. Not all are scientists. “We have a fair share of comedians and writers and all kinds of other people who don’t have a science background, who have stories to share to show that they are also connected to science,” said Chen.
People like Executive Editor Shula Neuman. She captivated the audience with her story of her mother, a mathematician who struggles with Alzheimer’s. Neuman has always enjoyed Story Collider events, but this was her first time performing.
At the end of the night, the storytellers and hosts gathered on stage to enthusiastic applause. The event was yet another success for Story Collider and St. Louis, as science and storytelling came together.
St. Louis is only one of many homes for Story Collider. The podcast is also based in cities in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand. Each city’s producers hold Story Collider events for their fans. Because the events are recorded, producers later transform the live events into podcasts, extending each show’s reach. Past shows in St. Louis were so popular, they frequently sold out.
“The thing about Story Collider that makes it special is that it’s about connecting people to science in a way they may not have expected,” said Chen.
Thursday night, Chen also introduced a new Story Collider producer, Emma Young. A grad student majoring in Biology at University of Missouri-St. Louis, Young takes over for Stovall as he returns to New York’s Story Collider. St. Louis can expect to see Young at the next Story Collider event on October 4, 2018. Pitch a story to Chen or Young by August 3 to firstname.lastname@example.org.