A Picture is Worth 1000 Words—Teaching Science With Comics

November 12, 2015

Northwestern University, Chicago Campus, Hughes Auditorium
303 East Superior Street, Chicago, IL, USA


Graphic narratives—also known as comics—are increasingly being used to unpack complex concepts and experiences. Despite the stigma of being thought of as juvenile reading matter (and not ‘real reading’ at that), comics actually have a long history of addressing complex topics. When serious graphic novels began appearing in the 1980s, they were met with great critical acclaim by both popular media and academia. A significant cohort of comics tackling scientific topics now exists.

By combining text and image, comics may be uniquely equipped to embody, explain, and contextualize. Graphic narrative utilizes text, visuals, compelling characters and their (hopefully) interesting stories to increase reader engagement and help bridge communication gaps. Thanks to many of the universally understood conventions of the medium, graphic narrative can also create opportunities for explaining and witnessing from multiple perspectives.

In this combination lecture and workshop, we’ll look at examples in which science meets comics, consider how and why comics can be used to communicate complex concepts in an engaging fashion. We’ll also explore what elements might make one comic better than another in communicating complex information. During the workshop, participants will be encouraged to take part in exercises involving making and sharing drawings, but no artistic expertise is expected or needed. All required materials will be provided.

This program is intended for scientists, professors, teachers, and anyone else who is interested in learning to communicate science in a new, compelling way.


Event Details

Thursday, November 12th. Wine and cheese social hour at 5:00pm, program begins at 6:00pm.


*Seating is limited and registration is required*

C2ST Members: Free

Non-Members: $5

To register, click HERE or on the “Get Tickets” button below.

Discounted parking ($6) is available to the first 50 attendees, at the 202 E Huron parking garage. Ask at the C2ST registration table, and you can purchase a ticket to exit the garage at the discounted rate.

Baldwin auditorium is easily accessible via public transportation.

CAN’T JOIN US LIVE? jOIN VIA LIVE STREAM. Tune in at 6 pm CDT to stream the program: https://www.youtube.com/user/C2STvideos  The program will remain on our YouTube channel to view at your leisure if you can’t tune in on Oct. 1