About the Tell Us a Story – science storytelling challenge

“You could sell this to the Education Dept for a small mint, and tour NZ (if not the world!) with it for the rest of your lives ...  Schools would love it; science would rapidly lose its ‘boring’ tag.”
Tell Us a Story Audience Member

"Tell Us a Story is a great project. In a modern world saturated with electronic media, nothing resonates quite so much as the personal narrative of a storyteller.  In science, this narrative has a special role, especially because what we do so often seems mysterious to those outside our profession."
Professor Sir Paul Callaghan
“I was both stoked to be involved in Tell Us a Story AND grateful for how Elizabeth and Elf ran the challenge. They were absolutely fantasmagorical! Their spirit, energy and commitment to storytelling of the scientific variety were inspirational.”
2011 Tell Us a Story participant

“I was impressed with the way you and Elf inspired so many postgrads to become involved with Tell Us a Story this year, and the whole thing was VERY well organised from my perspective with lots of presence and profile around campus and downtown.”
Victoria University Science Faculty Staff

“I was blown away with what I saw. The word is talent. It’s the sort of thing that used to come from the drama clubs in places like oxford. Like Monty Python.”
Professor David Bibby, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculties of Science and Engineering at Victoria University

“During the workshops I learned in detail about the essential keys of presenting: how to reach the audience and keep them interested, how to make myself comfortable talking in front of audiences with very mixed backgrounds and how to present in a natural, honest and therefore convincing way. Since then I was chosen to give a presentation to the European Research Council, which was a great success due to the skills I'd learnt”
2011 Tell Us a Story participant

"I would like to add my voice to what I am sure is a chorus of people encouraging you to continue the “Tell us a Story” event in the coming years. As a scientist, I am constantly made aware of how critical successful communication is to successful science. Tell us a Story provides a rare opportunity to nurture this skill in young scientists.  The creativity and effort made by your students was truly inspiring, they are, and the whole event is,  a credit to Victoria University."
Tell Us a Story Audience member

“Could this sort of combined “ left brain; right brain” approach be the catalyst for revitalizing school kids interest in the sciences, maths and other “tough” subjects.”
Tell Us a Story Audience Member

“I thought it was a fantastic evening - one of a kind. I was engaged emotionally and intellectually the whole time. And I liked the creative, improvisational way you wove the talks together.”
Tell Us a Story Audience Member

About the BlueFern Booklet and MacDiarmid Institute Science Writing

“Elizabeth made researchers feel confident and uplifted as she guided them through telling their story in a clear coherent and compelling manner.  I observed this on a number of occasions and across groups of people.  The evidence is manifestly apparent in the BlueFern Case Study and Vision for Collaborative High Performance Computing and E-Research in New Zealand. Watching Elizabeth’s listening skills is instructional to anyone who wants to improve communications. ”
Peter Helms, former Director of the BlueFern Supercomputing Facility

“I have read a lot of documents on high performance computing over the years, but I have to say that I like this one the best. Somehow Elizabeth manages to make the people come alive without losing sight of the reason why they are there, which is the science.”
Professor Ian Foster, expat Kiwi, Senior Scientist, Director of the Computation Institute, Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago.

“We live in a time when the impact of science on the welfare of humanity is of ever increasing importance and relevance to daily life, and yet the chasm of understanding and appreciation that C. P. Snow wrote of in Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution is, if anything, growing wider. Every effort needs to be made to bridge this chasm where possible. Doing so requires a special gift of communication skills and a clarity of purpose. Too few people have this rare combination, but among those that do, you will find Elizabeth Connor.” 
"For several years now I have been following Ms. Connor's writings aimed at communicating to the public the value created by New Zealand's MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (I serve on the Institute's International Advisory Board). Her accomplishments on behalf of the MacDiarmid Institute are impressive enough but I was recently very impressed by the BlueFern case study pamphlet she has written. In this pamphlet, Ms. Connor lays out in a remarkably lucid and digestible form the value and impact of high performance computing on New Zealand science, and as a consequence, on the future welfare of New Zealand and the world. I am certain that this pamphlet will have a pivotal role in helping to shape the future of high performance computing in New Zealand.”      
         Dr Don Eigler, Physicist, IBM Fellow at the IBM Almaden Research Centre and pioneer of nanotechnology - the first human to control the movement of single atoms.