Conservation beyond science: scientists as storytellers

Main Article Content

Diogo Veríssimo
Miguel P. Pais


As scientists we are often unprepared and unwilling to communicate our passion for what we do to those outside our professional circles. Scientific literature can also be difficult or unattractive to those without a professional interest in research. Storytelling can be a successful approach to enable readers to engage with the challenges faced by scientists. In an effort to convey to the public what it means to be a field biologist, 18 Portuguese biologists came together to write a book titled “BIOgraphies: The lives of those who study lifeâ€, in the original Portuguese “BIOgrafias: Vidas de quem estuda a vidaâ€. This book is a collection of 35 field stories that became career landmarks for those who lived them. We discuss the obstacles and opportunities of the publishing process and reflect on the lessons learned for future outreach efforts.

Article Details

How to Cite
Veríssimo, D. and Pais, M.P. 2014. Conservation beyond science: scientists as storytellers. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 6, 12 (Nov. 2014), 6529–6533. DOI:
Conservation Applications
Author Biographies

Diogo Veríssimo, David H. Smith Conservation Fellow, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3992, Atlanta, GA 30302-3992, USA

Diogo Veríssimo works at the interface between social and natural sciences, having worked in Europe, Asia and Latin America in social marketing, environmental education and community based conservation. He is currently a David H. Smith Conservation Fellow, working on evaluating the impact of conservation programs that promote voluntary behaviour change.

Miguel P. Pais, Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal

Miguel P. Pais is a marine biologist who studied methodological approaches to support the use of marine fish assemblages as indicators of environmental quality during his PhD. He is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at Centro de Oceanografia/MARE focusing on individual-based modelling of marine communities.


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