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The Science of Narrative: Why Storytelling Is Important to Research

East Baltimore
Summer Inst. term
Mental Health
1 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Hybrid In-person and Synchronous Online
Wed 06/01/2022 - Thu 06/02/2022
Class Times:
  • W Th,  8:30am - 12:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
  • David Olawuyi Fakunle
David Fakunle
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Are you concerned with the divide between the public health field and "post-truth" society, a culture predicated on emotional rather than logical appeal, and is dismissive of research as secondary, elitist and not relevant to people's lives?

Do you believe that the end goal of research should NOT be publication?

Do you want to learn a way to connect your scientific work with non-researchers?

Introduces the basic components of storytelling. Examines the science within the narrative arts. Challenges students to present the art within public health sciences. Emphasizes critical perspective on how nuances and merits of public health research should be expressed to relevant audiences, including community members and policymakers. Explores why storytelling is a powerful modality for conveying uncommon knowledge and insight in a manner that appreciates common experiences. Prepares students to combine data and narrative while acknowledging both as essential to effective public health advocacy.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Practice the basic tenets of storytelling
  2. Think critically about how to effectively discuss public health science to non-scientific audiences
  3. Relate research to the real (i.e., not hypothetical, theoretical or conceptual) circumstances of populations
  4. Successfully integrate narrative and data to create a holistic and more effective approach
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 50% Participation
  • 50% Final Project

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

This is the onsite section of a course also held virtually. You are responsible for the modality in which you register. Students are required to complete pre-course and post-course assignments. The final project will be due on June 30, 2022.