Using the Past to Tell More Persuasive Conservation Stories




storytelling, persuasion, communication, conservation action, conservation paleobiology


Conservation biologists are increasingly realizing the power of telling stories, which can persuade people to get involved and take action towards conservation goals. Stories connect with a wide variety of audiences by means of transporting them to captivating narrative worlds. The feeling of being swept into a story, referred to as transportation, is the mechanism through which persuasion takes place. Once a reader becomes absorbed into a story, they become removed from the real world and their own personal experiences, making them more likely to believe the story’s central message and change their behavior. Here, we argue that conservation biologists can tell more persuasive stories if longer-term perspectives available from geohistorical records, such as sediment cores and fossils, are incorporated. By providing a richer context or starting a story from a point further back in time, a different story can be told, which may help motivate audiences towards achieving specific conservation goals. Developing storytelling skills is a necessary addition to any conservation paleobiologists’ ‘toolbox.’

Journal cover with title Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History and a photograph of a great blue heron




How to Cite

Pier, J., Olson, O., Mychajliw, A., & Dietl, G. (2023). Using the Past to Tell More Persuasive Conservation Stories. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History, 60(2), 104.