Chemical spiel! Science and storytelling synthesize in Gowanus • Brooklyn Paper

Chemical spiel! Science and storytelling synthesize in Gowanus

Geeking far out: Ben Lillie, the co-founder of science storytelling series Story Collider.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

These stories are about science — but they’re not fiction.

The Story Collider is a storytelling night held semi-regularly in Gowanus — and at other venues around the east coast — where people share science-related anecdotes from their own lives.

“We want to show that science is not just for nerds,” said Ben Lillie, the co-founder of the event.

The tales aren’t about chemical equations or major medical breakthroughs so much as odd occurrences in a lab or embarrassing things that happened in science class. Previous editions of the show have covered the relationship between science and subjects such as religion, sports, and politics. Many of the speakers are science professionals, but many are not — comedians, writers, artists, and musicians have all shared their tales on the Story Collider stage.

“The idea is to get a wide view of what science is and to show that it is a major part of everyone’s lives,” said Lillie.

The next installment, at Littlefield on Aug. 13, is titled “Awkward Science” — a topic that is sure to inspire some hilarious stories, said Lillie.

“There is no way this cannot be funny,” he said.

Speakers chronicling their cringe-worthy tales on the night will include ProPublica journalist David Epstein, magician Nelson Lugo, and developmental neurobiologist Doug Fields.

Lillie said he came up with the idea for the show when he was working on his doctorate in physics and realized that he did not want to actually work in physics.

“I figured out that I would rather write about and tell stories about science than work on science,” he said.

The Story Collider: Awkward Science at Littlefield [622 Degraw St. between Fourth and Third Avenues in Gowanus, (718) 855–3388, www.littlefieldnyc.com]. Aug. 13 at 8 pm. Free.

Read about more bar-based science nights in Brooklyn.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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