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Mon November 5, 2012
The Art of Telling Science Stories
Among those who make a living communicating science to the public, there are two main groups. There are those who began as writers, journalists, film makers, what have you, and somewhere along the way discovered a particular affinity for the subject of science. Increasingly, though, there’s a second group who received formal training in science, may even have made a career as a scientist, but somewhere along the way discovered that research wasn’t quite the right fit and instead turned to telling the stories of science.
Ari Daniel Shapiro is one of the latter (as am I, by the way). He earned a PhD from the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Biological Oceanography. Rather than continue his research on killer whale behavior, though, he became a radio producer. The name Ari Daniel Shapiro is now a virtual household name among public radio devotees. He is the producer of the Encyclopedia of Life’s podcast series, One Species at a Time, which airs every other Monday on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He’s also science correspondent for PRI’s The World.
Several weeks ago, Ari and I began a conversation about his transition from research to radio. But we were rudely interrupted by technical difficulties and never really got to finish our conversation. A number of you expressed your disappointment, so we decided to try it again.