Call for Stories!

- The Bear celebrates Berlin Science Week 2018 -

Presented by The Bear. True Stories. Erzähltes Leben. and ExBerliner

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Science can stir not only the mind but also the soul.
—  Brian Greene

We are looking for voices from the science world to share their personal relationship to their work.

Although science shapes all of our lives, we rarely learn of the human elements, like the errors and elation, involved in its making. 

The Bear wants to change that on November 16th!

We will shine a light on 8 scientists' bold attempts to understand themselves and the universe we all inhabit.

How do scientists benefit?

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We are a non-profit initiative to promote the art of storytelling because we believe it is especially important today to bring more connection and understanding in the community. 

There is no monetary compensation for your participation.  You will receive complimentary professional story & speech coaching. We will also make a professional video and audio recording, and will share the stories on our Youtube channel, as well as in our future podcasts. Media partners will be announced soon. 

It is an excellent chance for you to experiment with the most powerful communication tool to move people to action: storytelling.


The Bear presents on November 16, 2018

GRAVITY: encounters with uncontrollable forces


Speakers are invited to explore the idea of GRAVITY, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. To get the ideas spinning here are some story triggers:


"Der Groschen ist gefallen"  - that transformative moment of understanding; gravitating towards one answer, one decision, one opinion, one perspective - and not another; the gravity / seriousness of a situation; moments where fate was completely out of your control; falling down - down the career ladder, falling for an easy fix that made the situation go from bad to worse;  getting big funding and small results; your hero-to-zero moment; the aha moment after a struggle and the resulting feeling of "lightness"; attending a zero gravity disco party.

Share your personal wonder in the world of science. 


True and  Personal; German or English

In keeping with The Bear tradition, stories are true and personal, told within a set time limit, without notes or slides. The entire evening flows back and forth between English and German. 


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“Nothing humbles a man like gravity.“
— Cornel 'Cottonmouth' Stokes from the“Luke Cage“ series


Before you begin

Compelling stories need conflict!

Unpack your story. These are the elements you will need:

  1. one character with a desire.

  2. the ensuing escalating conflict to reach that desire.

  3. the turning point where the character has a moment of enlightenment / understanding.

  4. how has this experience changed the character.

If you would like more details on the essential elements of a story: here.

Need some great examples or inspiration?

Here are some of our personal favorites from the collaboration of World Science Festival and The Moth.

We don't have any examples in German, which we hope you can change that!


Kodi Azari: The Perfect Hand

 A surgeon details his involvement in one of the world's first-ever hand transplants.

Mary-Claire King:

A doctor battles through a series of heartbreaking and unbelievable events to secure the grant that enables her discovery of the inherited breast cancer gene.

George Lombardi: Mission to India

A young doctor is whisked halfway across the globe to care for an ailing international religious icon.

Paul Nurse: Family Trees Can Be Dangerous

When applying for a green card a professor of genetics discovers a family secret. Paul Nurse is a Nobel Laureate and the President of Rockefeller University, where he also continues to do research in genetics and cellbiology. 

Leon Lederman: The Singing Janitor

Dr. Leon Lederman tells the story of how a "singing janitor" showed him the wonderful mystery of science.

Michael J. Massimino: Swimming with Astronauts

Mike Massimino must take to swimming before he can take off to outer space.

George Church: My Life as a Guinea Pig

Scientist George Church tests his own strength of will as a human-guinea pig for science.

Paul Hoffman: With a Little Help From My Dad

Paul Hoffman recounts his transition from scientist to writer, with a little help from his dad.

Sylvia Earle: Blue Hope

Sylvia Earle explores the ocean's depths as a pioneering aquanaut.



If you would like to pitch a story,

here is how to write or record your story:

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1) Write your Story in German or English

Summarize your story in a 250 words max. and send it to:


2) Record your Story in German or English

Record and wow us with a 2-minute pitch of your story! Tell us the actual story - not what it’s about or what it might be. Give us a sense of your story arc and how your story changed you.

Cliffhangers will not be considered (i.e. “and so begins the story of the greatest adventure of my life”). Go on! Tell us about the adventure! Don’t leave us hanging, because we won’t call you back.

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3) Send it to us

Send an Email with the recorded Pitch to


Thanks for sharing!

We believe these narratives transform the way we think about science.

We will read and listen to all story pitches and send you a response. Please remember to send your contact details so we can reach you.

If you have any questions, we'll be happy to help you: