What brings an astrophysicist to the conference? David Ault explains.
Hi, I’m David Ault and I’m very excited to be coming to the CMC this year as a blogger. I’m just finishing my time directing The Big Bang East Midlands and West Midlands, helping young people get enthused in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and am looking forward to what comes next.
My weekends are generally taken up with storytelling in theatres across the country, doing astronomy podcasting, or voice acting for internet-based audiodrama. My desire to come to the CMC comes from wanting to develop my own skills as a writer and blogger, but also to take my storytelling and acting to a new level, to find new ways to communicate STEM and to meet a whole load of new people!
My work as a storyteller is really good fun. Children have such vivid imaginations and are very willing, once given the chance, to tell those stories. I’ve worked in primary schools throughout the country talking to kids, telling them stories and then getting them to tell those back – and through Snail Tales, we have put some of the best of them on stage to inspire other children to make up stories and tell them too. Our first show, A Little Bird Told Me spoke of a dragon that had an unusual method of stopping a witch’s hypnotic curse, and the next show, A Bird in Your Ear, had a wonderful new fairy tale for the future about a genie stuck in a teapot.
I will never forget the look on the face of one of the children in the audience in Leeds, when she realised that it was her story that was being told – in front of loads of people in the theatre. Once the story was finished, we invited her on stage to accept the applause she very much deserved – what a wonderful job!
What I hope the CMC will help me to do is get ideas for new ways to pass storytelling around, to inspire and enthuse young audiences and keep oral storytelling going. After all, and to tie in my other line of work, the stories of the constellations of the night sky were created around campfires and passed down to us here today – what a privilege to be a part of history like that, passing them on to the next generations!