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What's the Story? Framing Science Songs

Presented by
Jon Chase, Freelance Science Communicator (UK)

Science songs can often be seen in a one-dimensional way, i.e. "It's a song about genetics/ dinosaurs/space" or "It's a cool way to teach science" but science songs have different strengths and play to different needs in the listener. Some songs present factual statements that could be used as rhythm or rhyme based mnemonics; like jingles. Some songs portray an idea in a way that can help a listener to get a deeper understanding of it for example, a song about the roles scientists play in society or a song about a misunderstood concept (such as climate change or evolution). Then there are songs that are really just a bit of fun, that don't really tell us much about science but are still appealing to a science interested public, e.g. Tom Lehrer's "The Elements." In each instance it would potentially help educators to know what type of story is being told so they can more easily incorporate the increasing number of science songs becoming available. This may require a kind of classification system and/or a directory that also includes details about particular content within a song. This will also be touched upon within this presentation.