Michael O'Leary: Hagstone Story Teller

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Storytelling and Science

The Arts/Science divide seems ingrained in us now, though, historically, it’s a recent and artificial construction. Sadly it seems to be accepted unquestioningly by many who work in the “arts”, when they describe themselves as “creatives” - as if everyone else isn’t “creative"

In schools Mike usually finds that he is employed by either the English or the Drama department, and that is fine - but Mike believes that storytelling, the construction of narrative, is more fundamental than that; and can help bring out the sense of wonder and imagination that lies behind scientific endeavour.

Mike particularly likes to tell stories that relate to astronomy. He has told tales at Intech, the Winchester science centre and planetarium, and has worked regularly for the annual BBC Stargazing Event.

Mike at the Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth (for BBC Stargazing).(photo)

One of Mike’s favourite regular bookings is telling stories at the Norman Lockyer Planetarium, Sidmouth http://www.ebp-sw.org/news/77/93/ Family-Science-Day-at-theNorman-Lockyer-Observatory---Sidmouth .

The Norman Lockyer observatory really makes science accessible; and it’s a joy to tell tales there

Mike tells stories from different cultures about the stars of the Pleiades, of a moon tumbling to earth, of a wounded bear hunted around the wheel of the sky, of the song of the stars - mythology is fundamental and is formed from that same sense of wonder that underlines science.

Of course the best thing to do is to lie on your back and gaze at the stars - but this may not be wise in the middle of Portsmouth, or on Newbury Racecourse - though, weather permitting, it can be done at the Norman Lockyer Observatory!

Mike at the http://www.normanlockyer.com/ Norman Lockyer Observatory, Sidmouth.(photo)

Mike tellling tales at Newbury Racecourse (photo)

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