Ep 53: Down the Rabbit Hole: Scientific Comics and Storytelling – with guest Dr. Matteo Farinella

Cartoons and science

When you think of ways general science is communicated to the public, you probably think of a PBS documentary, a fun youtube video, the science section of Barnes and Nobel, or maybe even your favorite podcast (wink wink). But can scientific comics be an equally effective way at communicating science?  Neurons are trees

Matteo Farinella thinks so.

Matteo is a PhD neuroscientist and a talented artist.  He is also a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience at Columbia.  One day, he and a friend came up with the idea of communicating complicated concepts of neuroscience in graphic novel form. The result, Neurocomic, changed his career, and led people to learn science through a perhaps unconventional medium: comics.

Scientific ComicsSince then, his scientific comics have shown up in another graphic novel, The Senses, and in other articles and comics.  He uses narrative components, metaphor, and interesting characters to make science more relatable and understandable.  We talk about science communication and how scientific comics might be a very unique and even powerful way to communicate scientific concepts in a way that a textbook or even documentary could never do.

You can find Matteo’s comics at matteofarinella.com and follow him on Twitter @matteofarinella.

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