Special issue of the ERSS journal discusses narratives and storytelling, as a supplement to traditional scientific methods

(eceee news, 24 Nov 2017) A special issue on ‘Narratives and Storytelling’ in the journal Energy Research & Social Science (ERSS) explores how these forms of communication can supplement traditional scientific methods.

Energy and climate change research relies on accepted scientific methods for collecting, analysing, and interpreting evidence. The execution may be imperfect, but the commitment to scientific logic is clear. In contrast, people and organisations regularly communicate, arrange, and think in story form, claims Sea Rothman, one of the co-editors of the special issue, published by Elsevier in September 2017 (ERSS Volume 31, September 2017).

The ERSS issue brings together submissions from 33 author teams, with papers covering the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Japan, the ‘Global South’, and other locales.

Nine papers are open access, including the introductory review article ‘Using stories, narratives, and storytelling in energy and climate change research’ by Moezzi, Janda, and Rotmann.

The contributions are grouped into three major categories:

  • The first group focuses on stories as data, including papers on stories as companions to quantitative assessments, narratives on large system transitions, and local and personal narratives.
  • The second section focuses on stories as inquiry, including science fiction and related re-imaginings of the past and future, stories without words, and stories in making and remaking identities and schemas.
  • The final section discusses storytelling, or “stories as process,” with a selection of papers investigating using stories in workshops and collaborative sense-making.

Read the introductory review here