Consultant, Oceanographer, Author and Storyteller Kendall Haven Speaks Feb. 9 at Faculty Seminar about “Your Brain on Story”
Jan. 26, 2012
Contact: The Liberal Studies Department, 805-756-2935
SAN LUIS OBISPO -- Science consultant, author and oceanographer Kendall Haven will be the speaker in a free seminar for Cal Poly faculty, staff and administrators titled “Your Brain on Story: The Neural Science Behind the Startling Power of Story, and What it Means for You and Your Teaching.” The event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 9, at 11:10 a.m. in Building 10 (The Erhart Agriculture Building), room 220.
Haven, a West Point graduate who holds a master’s degree in oceanography, served for eight years as a senior research scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy. He is the author of “Story Proof: The Science behind the Startling Power of Story” and several other books on storytelling. He is also a professional storyteller – a career he initially began to test communication research theories.
During the past three years he has served as a consultant on effective storytelling and communications for scientists and science writers at NASA, NOAA, the National Centers for Disease Control, the EPA, the Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, the Naval Post Graduate School, the Navy’s advanced research lab, and four major private engineering companies.
He has spent more than a decade compiling research results from 16 scientific fields ranging from neural physiology to evolutionary biology to developmental psychology to information theory to education.
Haven’s research contention is that human brains have been evolutionarily wired to use specific narrative story elements and threads to perceive, to understand, to remember, and to recall information. Communications which do not use effective storytelling structures don’t engage readers and fall short in conveying information, he said. “Our minds are now evolutionarily preprogrammed from before birth to make sense and to think in and through specific story structures,” he said.
During the Feb. 9 seminar, Haven will summarize key research and demonstrate the successful architecture and informational framework needed to form effective story-based communications. He will also go over what neural research means for university professors in communicating information to students as well as to broader, non-university audiences.
The seminar is open to all Cal Poly faculty, staff and administrators and is sponsored by the Liberal Studies Department. For details, contact Liberal Studies Administrative Assistant Maureen Conner at email@example.com.
More Story Events for Families, Students, K-12 teachers:
On Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m., Haven will also appear at the Steynberg Gallery on Monterey Street to tell stories appropriate for all ages. The event is free, but space is limited and RSVPs required. Contact Conner at firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
On Saturday, Feb. 11, Haven will conduct a workshop on campus for K-12 educators focusing on the power of storytelling and how to use story to teach science and math to K-12 students. The workshop is free, and also open to students; but space is limited and reservations are required. For details and reservations contact Conner at email@example.com.
All events are being sponsored by the Liberal Studies Department, which educates undergraduate students seeking to become K-6 teachers.
To learn more about Haven and his work, visit his web site at www.kendallhaven.com.