Telling Heroic Stories of Science: The Laborastory

Telling Heroic Stories of Science: The Laborastory

Might just be my unfamiliarity with the local art and performance scene here in Melbourne, but there appears to me to be a growing collection of storytelling nights popping up all over the CBD and inner suburbs. Storytelling is popular. Well, it’s always been popular, but modern society seems to prefer to get its information through the written word and YouTube videos, not the noble pastime of listening to someone speak, almost face-​​to-​​face.

Okay, I might be glamorising storytelling a little bit, but it’s still true that it’s an effective, personal, and often deeply entertaining way to engage people with a certain topic. The storytelling scene is full of nights where people tell stories from their own lives, about their own experiences, but do you know what’s usually missing? That’s right, science.

Luckily, The Laborastory started last month to cater to Melbourne’s obvious need for science-​​based storytelling. Every month, five scientists come together at a jazz club in Fitzroy to talk about their scientific heroes: the breakthroughs, the tragedies, and the adventures.

On the 6th of May, The Laborastory had: Upulie Divisekera on physicist Marie Curie and biologist Alexander Fleming; Dr Norman Do on mathematician Évariste Galois; Dr Sam Lieblich on neuroanatomist Bud Craig; Dr Clare Hampson on MD George Papanicolaou and his wife, Mary; and Dr Carleton Coffrin on computer scientist Alan Turing.

And this month, on the 3rd of June, I’ll be speaking about the pioneering Drosophila geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan, who won a Nobel Prize in 1933 for his work on chromosomal inheritance. Four other scientists and science communicators will be joining me. Come along! It should be fun!

Where: Uptown Jazz Club, 177 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

When: First Monday of every month (the next is on the 3rd of June), at 7:30pm

Cost: $10

And to let you know roughly what it’s going to sound like, here are the five stories from last month!

You can follow all that’s going on in the world of The Laborastory on Twitter at @TheLaborastory.