Bayer produces event where stories, science collide in Bangor

Stephen Colbert introduced millions to Skylar Bayer’s marine reproductive ecology research.

When “The Colbert Report” aired a mock crime story about missing scallop gonads and a lonely lady scientist performing experiments, the audience laughed while it learned.

That funny, true, personal stories can both inform and entertain resonates with Bayer, a doctoral candidate based at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center.

In 2014, Bayer first took the stage at a storytelling event in Massachusetts to share “Phoning Home from Alvin” about her experience in a deep-sea submersible.

“People want to hear about people; we are hardwired to hear stories about other humans. It’s how we relate to one another,” says Bayer.

“As scientists we need to convey our emotions whether it be joy, sadness, frustration or excitement in our research so that we can be heard not only as scientists but as passionate, dedicated people.”

She’s now a producer for “The Story Collider” — live shows and podcasts in which people share both heartbreaking and hilarious experiences that involve science.

Bayer and Erin Barker, senior producer of “The Story Collider,” are co-hosting a show 1–3 p.m. Sunday, March 20, in the Barrel Room at the Sea Dog, at 26 Front St. in Bangor.

Storytellers at the free event, which is part of the Maine Science Festival, are:

Lt. Bill Harwood — The director of the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory is a UMaine graduate and has worked as a patrol trooper, crisis and hostage negotiator, forensic scientist and homicide investigator.

Jeni Lloyd — The 11-year breast cancer survivor is sales director with a pink cosmetic company, a fundraiser with EMHS Foundation and a binge watcher of Turner Classic Movies.

Claire Lupien — The senior at Medomak Valley High School is intrigued by all things science, as well as music and theater. She plans to study chemical engineering.

Charles Rodda — The doctoral student in UMaine’s Climate Change Institute moved to the state to learn about horse-powered logging. He is a cyclist, gardener, soccer player and chef.

Aric Rogers — The assistant professor at the MDI Biological Laboratory investigates the aging process and how genes can enhance longevity and resist disease.

“Producing and storytelling with ‘The Story Collider’ have taught me not only the important elements to a good story but also how important people are in the story of science,” says Bayer, whose first manuscript from her Ph.D. dissertation was recently accepted for the Marine Ecology Progress Series.

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Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777