Randy Olson was a tenured professor of marine biology at the University of New Hampshire before moving to Hollywood and entering film school at the University of Southern California. He has written and directed a number of films, including the acclaimed Flock of Dodos and he is the author of numerous successful books, including Don't Be Such A Scientist.
"From Aristotle to South Park, Randy Olson has mined
story-telling wisdom through the ages to develop this funny,
helpful guide for scientists who want to meld minds with the rest
of the human race. He shows why scientists need to tell stories,
and then he shows them how to do it."--Carl Zimmer, author of
"If you've read the Dot Earth blog a lot, you know I'm a fan of the ultimate science-as-story coach, Randy Olson, who left a tenured job teaching marine biology to make provocative films on science controversies and then write, and write, and write about connecting science to society through storytelling. His new book, Houston, We Have a Narrative, is the ultimate distillation of his communication philosophy, which is to be relentlessly, even recklessly, creative (avoiding 'the nerd loop' at all costs) while hewing rigorously to a template that has roots in Aristotle and Hegel and runs through every South Park episode."--Andy Revkin "New York Times "
"Scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson makes a bold claim: scientists cannot adequately explain their own work. He attributes all of the issues facing science communication today--false positives, an uninterested public, and unapproved grant proposals--to scientists' lack of narrative intuition. Rather than turn to the humanities for help, Olson suggests scientists learn from the true masters of storytelling--Hollywood filmmakers. His latest book examines the age-old divide between sciences and the humanities, as well as the new adversarial relationship between science and film, which he says can save science."
--Journal of Science Communication