This article examines two recent scientific studies about reading fiction in order to argue for more thoroughly interdisciplinary work that crosses the too-often-upheld boundary between the humanities and sciences. Taking one of these in particular as a case study, I explore how including a humanist in the experimental process could have impacted many stages of inquiry: from developing more interesting and better contextualized research questions and methods, to providing rhetorical expertise that could reduce the role of “neurohype” as research moves from the lab to the press, to providing an important counterweight to the urge to make hasty recommendations about the translatability of basic science. I argue that the sciences and humanities are important partners in demystifying press coverage of neuroscience and cognitive science developments, and suggest that incorporating humanities approaches could improve the practice of science as it approaches topics typically in the purview of the humanities or social sciences, asking how the goals of scientific advancement could be shaped by work across the disciplines. My ultimate aim is to ask how we can improve science literacy and interdisciplinarity—two pursuits that I argue are inextricably linked.
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