The Story Collider is creating Science Stories
True, personal stories about science
If we hit this, we’ll put some of the money aside to pay for an upgraded sound system for recording. (Something we’ve needed for a while now.)
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What is The Story Collider?
There’s this thing where people look at science and think, “That isn’t for me, that’s about those robotic people in white lab coats. That’s weird. That has nothing to do with my life.” That’s all wrong.* Science — along with technology, medicine, and engineering — is one of the most important and powerful influences in our lives. And it’s becoming even more so. But many people still think of science as alien, and of scientists as different from normal humans.
The Story Collider is about breaking down those walls. It’s about telling stories of the times science matters, when it’s inspiring, or tragic, or hilarious. We host live events where people tell true, personal stories about science in their lives. Those are recorded and put on our podcast. Some of our stories are from scientists, showing the human side of research, and some are from non-scientists, about times when science was unavoidable, or when they sought it out. Here is a beautiful story of a daughter's search for the latest research on her father's condition:
We think understanding science is vital and people should embrace it. We think stories about our lives are important and people shouldn’t be afraid to tell them just because they aren’t experts. And, most importantly, because telling those stories is fun.
*OK, a lot of science is weird.
Keeping it going
We’ve been very lucky to be able to do this for more than three years, but to keep doing it we need your support. Producing these stories takes time, effort and money. We make some money from ticket sales, but not close to enough to cover everything. (And we like to keep our shows affordable.)
We’ve been very lucky to have outside support for our first couple of years. In that time we’ve had more than 300 different people tell their stories on our stage, published more than 150 of these stories on the podcast, and produced shows in six different cities and two countries. The podcast has over 10,000 subscribers and has been downloaded over a million times. We’re proud of that, and incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed — the storytellers, the tech and venue staff, and everyone who’s listened and told people about the show. We hope we can keep it going with your support!
Here’s where we spend money and time:
- Finding stories
- Working on the story drafts
- Recording the audio
- Editing the podcast
- Website design, maintenance, and hosting
- Printing programs & more
- Media storage & backups
*This is two things: bringing storytellers in, and bringing us out. This is something we’d like to do a lot more -- finding a wide ranges of voices is part of our mission. There are great stories in New York, Boston, and London, but there’s a whole lot more elsewhere.
How it works
The great thing about Patreon is that you get to set the amount. Whatever you think the stories are worth to you and whatever you can afford, that’s the right amount. It works a bit like Kickstarter -- you sign up to be a patron and there are special thank-you rewards at different levels. Unlike Kickstarter, it’s a monthly donation rather than a one-time deal.
Every month the system sends you a summary of what you’re supporting and you have a few days to change your donation or opt out if you like. You can set the amount to whatever you’re comfortable with, and you can cancel at any time with a click. We’re hoping that a lot of you think it’s worth about $5/month, or $1 per podcast. Donations are tax-deductible (aside from the market value of any rewards you set). We’ll send you a summary at the end of the year for documentation.
As thanks, we've got some cool rewards set up! Donate at any level and you’ll get updates from us, including early announcements of ticket sales.
The one we’re most excited about: Donate $5/month or more and you’ll get access to a special extra podcast. At every show, the hosts (Ben and Erin in NYC, Brian in London, and Ari in Boston) tell little mini stories to get the evening going and in between the main stories. They’re funny and weird, and they've never been on the podcast. Now we’ll be releasing a special extra podcast monthly with some of those outtakes -- it’s just like being at the show! Here's a couple ofexamples from our recent shows:
At higher levels, we have some really cool stuff, from getting your name in the credits to being thanked in an actual scientific paper by Story Collider co-founder Brian Wecht! See below for details.
We have some great ideas for new projects, from touring the country (and beyond!) to Web-based storytelling projects and more.
$2,500/month — If we hit this, we’ll put some of the money aside to pay for an upgraded sound system for recording. (Something we’ve needed for a while now.)
$10,000/month — This is our big goal for now. If we get here, we’ll have what we need to expand a lot. The first thing we’ll do is set up our first US tour.
Thanks! Ben, Erin, Brian, Rose, and Ari
Will the podcast still be free?
Yes! The podcast will always be free, and the entire archive will be free to listen to on our site.
Do you have physical things like T-shirts or mugs or posters?
Yes! You can buy those here, and we’d love it if you did.
What if I want to change or cancel my donation?
No problem. Just go into your account, find our logo, and click on “Edit pledge.” Every month you’ll get an email reminding you what your pledge was, and will have the option to change it before you’re charged. (That kind of ease and flexibility is why we love Patreon.)
I’d rather make a one-time donation. Can I do that?
Yes. We’d rather you do a monthly donation here, because having a stable income stream helps us plan better. But if it works better for you to do a one-time donation, you can do that here (scroll to the bottom of the page).