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The Metaphor Factory (708)


1 September 2020

Lang EN Workshop language is English

Dr Samuel Lagier ; Dr Cristina Soriano


Metaphors are more than sophisticated poetic embellishments – they shape our everyday lives in the way we speak, understand and act. A metaphor is a gateway between a known concept and a new dimension: it is this collision between disparate ideas that can transform confusion into comprehension. By looking at a complex problem or a new concept from unexpected angles and with different lenses metaphors help researchers to grasp the different facets of the challenge at hand. With this multi-facetted representation in mind, explaining the complexity of an idea becomes a lot easier.

While metaphors are essential elements of the science communication toolbox, they are always imperfect ("all metaphors leak"). Knowing a metaphor's limitations is necessary to prevent the audience from being misled.

In this workshop, participants will explore the power of metaphors for understanding and explaining complex ideas. Fun and playful exercises will act as an introduction to translational thinking and we will then create metaphors to represent, explain, and understand the scientific topics related to the participants research.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

- build their own metaphors- properly use metaphors to better understand and communicate their work
- use translational thinking to solve problems.

Pedagogical method:

This online workshop will be interactive and fun. A number of practical activities will complement the theoretical knowledge provided. After the workshop, it will be possible to apply the learned tools to your current work (presentations, papers, abstracts...) and to receive a feedback form the trainers.


Send a brief description of your work (4 sentences) including the research discipline you work in.




Date: Tuesday 1st September 2020

Schedule: from 9 am to 11 am

Place: Online

The Trainers:

Dr Samuel Lagier has been practicing research and improvised comedy for 11 years, 2 disciplines that are wrongly considered unrelated. He now specialises in helping researchers to communicate their work, experts to communicate their ideas (TEDxLausanne) and colleagues to work together(with the Renegade Saints). In other words, he build bridges between people and ideas. And what better tool to do that than metaphors?

Dr Cristina Soriano is a linguist and metaphor researcher. She became interested in metaphor looking at the way we talk about emotions. Most of what we say in that case is figurative. But metaphors transcend the language of emotion. They are pervasive. There is hardly anything we can say in every day conversation that is completely literal. Why is this so? Cristina studies what makes metaphors indispensable cognitive mechanisms and effective communicative tools.



Délai d'inscription 25.08.2020
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