How good storytelling can help consumers see the benefits of GMOs, synthetic biology

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Synthetic biology is a field full of exciting stories …. I asked Karl Schmieder, a seasoned communications and strategy consultant in biotechnology and synthetic biology, how to engage in and improve our storytelling.

[Editor’s note: The interviewer, Kostas Vavitsas, is a synthetic biology researcher.]

Kostas: What are the skills you need to do this job?

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Karl: You need to be curious. You need to listen. You need to know how to simplify the complex. And you need to know how to tell an engaging story. Telling a good story is the number one skill. Understanding the science behind that story is a given. You have to …. turn [it] into a story that people find interesting.

Related article:  Viewpoint: 'Doctrinal' objections to GMO crops shouldn't trump science amid farmer protests in India

Kostas: Let’s move to synthetic biology. What are the particulars of storytelling in this field?

Karl: …. Synthetic biology has all the elements for great storytelling: heroes, villains, seemingly insurmountable challenges, the opportunity for profit and social change …. By telling emotional stories we can help to dispel the fears around genetically modified organisms or the use of synthetic biology to brew new materials.

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Read full, original article: The art of storytelling in synthetic biology: an interview with Karl Schmieder

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