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Visual Storytelling

The attention for science communication is continuously increasing. Scientists are frequently asked to engage with a wider audience in research and to communicate about the results. Often, scientists do this mainly by talking about their work through text in magazines and talk shows, but around us we see a society full of visual communication: photos, animations, comics, videos, infographics. In newspapers and magazines as well as on social media, images are the most important means of telling a story.

How can you use visual stories as a scientist? How do you learn to apply this 'language' effectively? How do you build a visual story and make sure it comes across to your target audience?

 In this course the role for researchers in communicating science is discussed. Thereupon, we introduce you to different effective forms of visual science storytelling. You will receive guidelines on how to make your own storyboard and how to use it to communicate your research. You are going to design a visual story yourself, using video, pictures, drawings etc. You will test the designs with the target group and discuss the end products with the other students. You will also receive tips on how you can use this way of working and thinking in the continuation of your research. The visual stories will be available online via social media.


  1. Introduction to science communication; Introduction to visual science communication, best practices
  2. Introduction to visual storytelling
    Introduction to the first steps of the process: subject/theme selection, target group selection, target group research, creating ideas, selecting media
  3. Discussion of the assignment and first steps in visual storytelling
  4. Introduction to the next steps of visual storytelling: Sketching a storyboard, storytelling and testing with target group
  5. Discussion of the visual story: reflection on the process and outcomes
    Tips on how to apply this method and product in your research

About the trainers

Hannie van den Bergh is a visual artist, award winning filmmaker and designer, with over twenty-five years of experience in making science accessible to a wide audience. She has been involved in various international projects (FP7 and Horizon2020) to develop new forms of visual communication and to conduct pilots to discuss the societal impact of nanotechnologies: NanoBazaar, NanoTubes, Nano games and co-creation workshop. She uses techniques such as storytelling, future scenarios, co-creation and design thinking. www studio-hb.nl.

Dr. Anne M. Dijkstra is assistant professor in Science Communication at the University of Twente. She studies the changing science-society relationship from a communication perspective, amongst others, in various EU projects. She is editor of the book Science Communication: An introduction (2020) and wrote the Dutch chapter in Communicating science: A Global Perspective (2020). She is an elected member of the international PCST Scientific Committee (Public Communication of Science & Technology). She is a volunteer at Science Café Deventer.

  • ECTS

    1,5 ECTS

  • Programme is for

    PhDs and PDEng

  • Maximum of participants


  • Course

    4 sessions of 3 hours

    preparation, assignments and product development

  • Location

    Gallery building: October 3 - room Erlenmeyer 

    October 10, 24 and November 7 - room Reactor

Course Contact
dr. A.M. Dijkstra (Anne)
Assistant Professor
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Visual Storytelling
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October 2024
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