PhD Student Nicolas Angelides presents at IOP event: 'Creation & Destruction: Stories by the Fire
17 December 2018
Nicolas Angelides, Cosmoparticle PhD student, presents Vera’s Voyage, a story about Dark Matter at the Institute of Physics evening of storytelling at Skip Garden London.
The IOP Discovery event was held on 15 November 2018. Nicolas Angelides presented ‘Vera’s Voyage’, a story he had written about Dark Matter. Vera is a poetic metaphor for the existence of Dark Matter in the universe. Using whale sounds and melodies derived from traditional Cypriot folklore Nicolas took the audience on an inter-galactic journey through the history of the universe.
“Communicating my research is not only a privilege but also a great pleasure. As a communicator, I have always aimed to reach members of the public of all ages. Writing this story has allowed me, for the first time, to present complex ideas in a way that is accessible to younger audiences. In the story, I incorporate natural elements, drawing an analogy between galaxies and oceanic reefs, whales and Dark Matter in an attempt to stimulate the listener’s curiosity and imagination while teaching them some Cosmology.
“To enhance the experience, I incorporated whale calls and traditional Cypriot music into the story. The whale sounds gave Vera character, almost materialising her existence in the room. The traditional folk music brought mystery and nostalgia while remaining true to the ethereal nature of the theme. These elements, brought together in this unique way produced a fully immersive storytelling session where the boundaries were defined by the listener’s imagination. This was reflected in the excitement present in the student’s response to the story through an enthusiastic Q&A.”
The storytelling session was attended by a group of young students with an interest in creative writing. Following the storytelling, the students were invited to write and present their own short stories inspired by similar themes. Alongside Nicolas, a number of other storytellers and scientists read their own stories on the origin, evolution and beauty of the Universe.