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I’m Randy Olson, a Scientist Turned Filmmaker in Los Angeles, California. I do research and writing on why scientists are afraid of storytelling and how to change that. I’m here today to talk about the “ABT framework.” AMA!
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Hi reddit, Twenty years ago, I left my tenured professorship of marine biology for Hollywood. I had a single goal — the cure for being boring (especially for scientists, some of whom need it bad). I found it in a narrative template I crafted and labeled as “The ABT.” It comes indirectly from the co-creators of the Emmy and Peabody award-winning animated series, South Park. In a 2011 Comedy Central documentary about the show, they talked about their “Rule of Replacing” which they use for editing scripts. They replace the word “and” with “but” or “therefore” to improve storytelling — so I turned it into the “And, But, Therefore” template (the ABT). It is now the central tool in my mission to keep people from being boring. I present it in my new book, “Houston, We Have A Narrative,” use it in my work with individual scientists, and have built my Story Circles Narrative Training program around it, which I now run with scientists from NIH and USDA. Together, with this marvelous narrative tool, we are fighting to make the world a tiny bit less boring of a place. I’ll be back at 1 pm EST (10 am PST, 6 pm UTC) to answer your questions, ask me anything! WRAP UP TIME: Hey Folks – The two hours is up, I want to thank ALLLLL of you for all the excellent and fun questions – hope I did a halfway decent job of at least getting to some of them. One last time, my webinar this week is the prime resource for everything I was talking about – the one hour webinar I did on Tuesday with Union of Concerned Scientists. Thanks very much to Reddit – I really appreciate this great opportunity! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfnxfNJRk7g&feature=youtu.be