Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Laborastory: Stories of Science 2014


Teena Hartnett’s eye was caught by an event in Melbourne called ‘The Laborastory’. Passionate and intrepid story lovers that we are, we ventured forth on a cold, wet Melbourne evening to the Cider Bar in Brunswick Street to investigate.

The night we attended was particularly exciting as The Laborastory was celebrating its first year of success. The brainchild of Dr Andrea Bedini and Natalie Collard, the concept sits at the point ‘…where science meets storytelling’. The stories may be serious or funny; they are brief, and interesting (with a capital ‘I’).

Five storytellers (and if they are not scientists, they are deeply connected to the discipline) step up to the mic and let rip on their subject. The night we went, the theme was ‘Heroes’. We learned about the surgeon in the 1750’s who discovered that what we eat ends up in our bones; Thomas Midgley the inventor of leaded petrol and CFCs (thanks Tom); Gertrude Elion (Nobel Prize winner), the chemist whose work transformed the way Leukemia is treated and whose lab developed AZT; there was a musing on the difference between managers and leaders, and finally Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler or Hedy Lamarr, film siren and co inventor of a technique to spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping which paved the way for today’s Wi-Fi.

The storytellers read, rather than said their stories and in that way, they differ from the telling as practiced by Storytelling Vic tellers.  With that caveat, The Laborastory was a very enjoyable evening and one, the two of us can recommend.

They are keen to hear from people who have a scientific tale to tell.

Jackie K and on behalf of Teen Hartnett
Learn more about The Laborastory HERE

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