Stories are an immensely powerful communication tool. People find linear narratives compelling and this shapes how we think. This is as true in science as in any other domain. Stories structure our thinking and aid understanding, but they can also constrain our thinking unhelpfully, and embed assumptions that are unwarranted. What’s more, however attractive a story may be, with a beginning, a middle and an end, life is not like that. Life does not work in linear narratives or we would not have to ask “What came first, the chicken or the egg?"
A key challenge in modern biology is to find ways to tell stories about these dynamic, non-linear processes that can aid our understanding, while supporting the open mindedness needed for progress. Leyser’s research in plant developmental biology has tried to address this issue, a challenge that is equally relevant for her current role in science policy. Her Croonian Lecture will include examples from both of these areas of her work.
Attending the event
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Attending in person
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Attending live online
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