Digital Storytelling

What’s one of the oldest ways of communicating information?

Storytelling has been around for thousands of years. However, the way humans tell stories has changed and adapted from cave painting through to printed books and changed again for a digital world.

We love stories and we wanted our scientists to help us create a set of their own stories. In May 2019 the Scottish Book Trust ran a digital storytelling workshop at Stobfest. One of our team was so inspired by their work that we develope our own set of digital stories told by members of the WCAIR team.

Screencapture of editing software premiere pro.

Our digital storytelling project was originally developed whilst our teams were working remotely at home. We thought it was important to continue to work on the project throughout the COVID-19 lockdown as we thought our scientists stories will help to inspire others about not only the work taking place but also help people get to understand our scientists and the stories they have to tell.

Our scientists took part in a storytelling training workshop to help them with their stories. They worked hard to tell their stories in the best way possible. We hope that when you watch these stories you might feel inspired about science and all the different people that it takes.

It’s fantastic to know our stories have been shared around the world. From being part of girlguding group sleepovers to being shown in conferences in India, they have travelled all over.

The project has expanded well beyond the pandemic time project it origionaly started out as. Our public engagement team now run an Introduction to Digital Storytelling professional development course.

This session runs once a semester and is open to all University of Dundee staff and post-graduate students. Our team help work with staff and students to develop their ideas around storytelling and how they can include this in their research and communication projects.

Our sessions are tailored to the level of digital skill our participants have and we run through options they can use for creating videos themselves. We give tutorials in various video software including iMovie, Premiere Pro as well as creating videos using Powerpoint Video.


Screencapture of phrases and words from participants from a training session

So now you know the background, you can enjoy our scientists stories…

Whether you prefer salty, sweet, or a mix of both, go grab your popcorn and get watching!

Digital Stories from Members of the Drug Discovery Unit

My Story of Curiosity and Coincidences – Dr Kaushik Hatti

Kaushik Hatti telling the story of the incredible coincidences that led to remarkable discoveries during his Ph.D.

Dr Hatti is a machine learning scientist with a passion for sharing his knowledge about AI and algorithms.

From creating this story, Kaushik and the public engagement team developed an interactive workshop all about ‘Demystifying Machine Learning’. The workshop took place in multiple online science festivals before Dr Hatti moved to the USA.

Exploring X-ray Crystallography – Dr Alice Dawson

What is X-ray crystallography? Meet one of our scientists who will tell you all about what it is and why it’s incredibly important!

This digital story was developed as part of the 2021 GirlGuiding Virtual Sleepover. Find out more about our virtual sleepover and how to get you, your kids/pupils and/or you local guides and scouts group involved.

Girlguiding Virtual Sleepover Science Camp

Digital Stories from the Pawlowic lab.

An American in Dundee, Scotland – Dr Mattie Pawlowic

The story of how an Austin, Texas girl made her way to Dundee.

Mattie Pawlowic is one of WCAIR’s Principal Investigators researching Cryptosporidium. Her award winning parasitology work takes place in Dundee with her research group. Find out in her story all about how she made her way across the Atlantic to set up her lab here at the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research.

Click here to find out more about Mattie and her exciting research.

A Series of Fortunate Events – Lee Robinson

A Series of Fortunate Events is about one mans unexpected journey into science. He knew he wanted a change but he didn’t know where he wanted to go.

Join us for a cominc book style telling of one of our researchers unexpected entry into the world of Life Sciences.

The City that Ran out of Toilet Paper – Emma Sands

The tale of the first great toilet paper shortage.

Thanks to Mattie Pawlowic and Senyo Botchie for the videos of liveĀ Cryptosporidium! Check out their original videos on Twitter:

Digital Stories from the WeeCAIR Medicinal Garden Team

Our story about the WeeCAIR Medicinal Garden – Ailsa Mackintosh

A story on the hisotry of medicinal plants and how they relate to Dundee.

This story was developed to be part of the GirlGuiding Virtual Sleepover that took place in 2021. It highlights the origins of medicinal plantsĀ  and takes you through to the Medicinal Garden project at WCAIR and the groundbreaking research going on in Dundee.

Find out more about the Medicinal Garden Project here.