CfP: Narrating Science: The Power of Stories in the21st Century

CFP/conference: Narrating Science: The Power of Stories in the 21st Century

May 24 – 27, 2017, Toronto/University of Guelph

In the latter decades of the twentieth century, discourses on science and technology began to spread beyond the professional communities of scientific experts involved in knowledge production. In the cultural realm, we saw the rise of the “popular science” genre, of science series and documentaries on TV, and, around the turn of the millennium, an increase in the amount, depth, and quality of attention paid to science in literary and mainstream fiction. At the Narrating Science conference, we bring together scholars, scientists, and writers to compare how and to what effect storytelling about science across a spectrum of genres (fiction and non-fiction) and media (print and film) is engaging with different aspects of science (concepts and facts, practice and practitioners, institutions and societal impacts). Novelists Allegra Goodman and Karen Jay Fowler will be joining us with a public reading and discussion of their novels Intuition, The Cookbook Collector, and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

We are interested in what and how stories about science are contributing to understandings of issues of societal concern (e.g. climate change, genetic engineering, nuclear physics, evolution, concepts of cognition, pharmaceutics, nuclear power, scientific ethics and responsibility, etc.), and in how they reflect or embody the specifically global nature of the scientific enterprise (the permeability of national borders to concepts, technologies, and scientists; different cultural and national contexts for the practice and use of science; and culture-dependent popular perceptions of science). 
If you would like to attend, check for updates about the program and registration after January 1st at To propose a presentation, send a description of your topic (<300 words) for a 30 minute talk, as well as professional biographical information (<100 words) by December 9, 2016. Contributions from across the humanities and social sciences, as well as from working scientists, science communicators and writers are welcome, but should be aimed at a multi-disciplinary audience.

Send queries and proposals to Susan Gaines at
Organized by the College of Arts, University of Guelph, Canada, and “Fiction Meets Science” ( at the Universities of Bremen and Oldenburg, Germany.