He writes poetry about science


His poems are inspired by research. Listen to Sam Illingworth whose work revolves around developing dialogue between scientists and non scientists.

In this episode you meet Sam Illingworth, Associate Professor in Academic Practice at Edinburgh Napier University, who tells us more about his work and view on science communication.

His research revolves around developing dialogue between scientists and nonscientists and in particular giving voice to those audiences that have been traditionally under heard and underserved by science and science communication.

– As a science communicator, one of the most important things you can do is to find the audience that you want to engage with and really listen to what they know and what they want to find out about science.

Sam Illingworth sees poetry as a powerful tool to develop a two way dialogue. He writes poems about  scientific studies in his blog The Poetry of Science to communicate research to a non-scientific audience.

One of the poems was inspired by recent research which found that sperm whales actually learned through social evolution how to avoid 19th century human hunters that were hunting them with harpoons:

Whaling Away
In the name of progress
we pour your honeyed ichor
down the jagged throats of our
unquenchable machines,
launching broken vessels
to coax you from the depths
of your untroubled slumber.

Surrounded by our wooden welts
you congregate in immensity
striking the surface with
frenzied flukes to tear
the waves from their moorings,
a futile display of decay
that paints rounded targets
for warm-blooded killers
that rise from the spray.

You flee from your hubris
to the undying night of the
ocean’s floor.
Seeking comfort, you sing
faded Fado,
mourning your loss
for others
to learn.

This episode of Curiepodden is part of our series ”From my research horizon”, where scientists give listeners an insight into their work and life.

2 kommentarer

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  • Colin Sanderson

    Great content, finely produced. Thanks.


  • Li Gessbo

    Inspiring :-)


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