Project

Back to overview

The Catalyst: science on stage

English title The Catalyst: science on stage
Applicant Le Boeuf Adria
Number 151548
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Center for Integrative Genomics (CIG) Faculté de biologie et de médecine Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Molecular Biology
Start/End 01.06.2014 - 30.11.2015
Approved amount 103'374.00
Show all

All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Molecular Biology
Biophysics
Theatre and Cinema

Keywords (7)

science communication; performance; artistic representation of science; theatre; networks; interdisciplinary collaboration; theater

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Alors que la recherche scientifique est massivement soutenue par l'effort collectif, le grand public n'est pas toujours en mesure de s'informer aisément sur les découvertes qu'il a financées. Le théâtre ou le cinéma offrent des moyens d'aborder des sujets souvent complexes de manière agréable et divertissante. Traiter de sujets scientifiques dans une forme artistique permet également d'évoquer les conséquences éthiques des nouvelles découvertes d'une façon plus immédiate et concrète que ne peuvent le faire des conférences ou des articles académiques.Notre projet , «The Catalyst : La Science sur Scène», rassemble des professionnels de la science et du théâtre pour créer un nouveau spectacle centré sur les découvertes scientifiques les plus récentes.
Lay summary

Alors que la recherche scientifique est massivement soutenue par l'effort collectif, le grand public n'est pas toujours en mesure de s'informer aisément sur les découvertes qu'il a financées. Le théâtre ou le cinéma offrent des moyens d'aborder des sujets souvent complexes de manière agréable et divertissante. Traiter de sujets scientifiques dans une forme artistique permet également d'évoquer les conséquences éthiques des nouvelles découvertes d'une façon plus immédiate et concrète que ne peuvent le faire des conférences ou des articles académiques.

Notre projet , «The Catalyst : La Science sur Scène», rassemble des professionnels de la science et du théâtre pour créer un nouveau spectacle centré sur les découvertes scientifiques les plus récentes. Nous souhaitons notamment traiter des propriétés émergentes des systèmes complexes, allant des interactions moléculaires aux grands mouvements sociologiques.

Des acteurs-scientifiques, un metteur en scène et un auteur dramatique professionnels vont travailler ensemble pour développer une pièce originale qui a pour vocation à la fois d'informer et d'émouvoir. Après chaque représentation de la pièce, les acteurs ouvriront une discussion informelle avec le public autour des sujets abordés dans le spectacle. Par là, nous souhaitons atteindre deux objectifs : humaniser la science aux yeux du public, par exemple en dissipant le mythe du savant-fou, et donner à de jeunes scientifiques l'occasion d'interagir directement avec le public et d'apprendre à rendre la recherche plus accessible .

Finalement, une version abrégée de la pièce sera créée, ainsi qu'un site Web et une vidéo interactif. Ces différents éléments seront présentés dans les écoles pour introduire les adolescents à ces nouvelles découvertes scientifiques de manière ludique.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 23.01.2014

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Public support for scientific research is abundant, but how can the public learn about the new findings they’ve underwritten without going back to school? One of the most enjoyable ways to approach complicated topics is through entertainment. Treating scientific topics in an artistic light allows us to process the ethical ramifications of new discoveries in a way that lectures and articles cannot.This project, “The Catalyst: Science on Stage,” brings together active scientists and theatre professionals to create a new theatre piece about current research and new discoveries.
Lay summary

The Catalyst: Science on Stage

         Public support for scientific research is abundant, but how can the public learn about the new findings they’ve underwritten without going back to school? One of the most enjoyable ways to approach complicated topics is through entertainment. Treating scientific topics in an artistic light allows us to process the ethical ramifications of new discoveries in a way that lectures and articles cannot.

This project, “The Catalyst: Science on Stage,” brings together active scientists and theatre professionals to create a new theatre piece about current discoveries. The research theme includes the emergent properties of complex networks, ranging from interacting molecules to interacting individuals.

Scientist-actors, a professional director and a professional playwright will work together to develop a new story that is both informative and emotionally compelling.  After each performance of this original full-length piece, the actors will open an informal scientific question and answer session with the audience. Through the use of scientist actors we achieve two goals: humanizing our scientists in the eyes of the public, partly by dispelling the mad-scientist-myth, and giving our next-generation scientists a profound experience interacting with the public and learning how to make real research accessible.

         Finally, an abridged version of the piece will be created and paired with an interactive video and website. This will be delivered and performed in schools to teach adolescents about these new discoveries in a fun and enjoyable style.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 23.01.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Mark Wartenberg Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Ailin Conant, Theatre Témoin Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Gazus Gagnebin Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Tania Jenkins Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Andrew Sempere Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Jamie Flockton Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Helene Morlaix Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Yuliy Schwarzburg Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Juan Diego Ayala Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Robert Boyle Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Olivier Werro Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Felix Imhof Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Diego Gonzalez Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Elena Dalla Vecchia Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Kathrin Garschall Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Laurence Pope Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Charles Mullon Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Robert I'Anson Price Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Samuel Lagier Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Laura Symul Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Ivaylo Getov United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Gustavo Ruiz Buendia Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Francesca Perkins Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Friederike Bienert Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Loren Bes France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Richard Crane Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television Babylone: Blue Butterfly RTS Western Switzerland 2015
Video/Film Blue Butterfly Trailer Western Switzerland International 2015
Media relations: radio, television CQFD: La Science sur les planches RTS Western Switzerland 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Eva Geneva: Blue Butterfly Eva Geneva Western Switzerland International 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Frontiers: Blue Butterfly – The Catalyst Theater Company and Frontiers Fronters Blog International 2015
Media relations: print media, online media La Cote: La pièce de théâtre en anglais Blue Butterfly pour une dernière fois La Cote Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media La Cote: Vaud: une pièce de théâtre innovante de PhD en Sciences La Cote Western Switzerland 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Lausanne Guide: Blue Butterfly The Lausanne Guide to Life and Style International Western Switzerland 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Lausanne Mom: Blue Butterfly Lausanne Mom Western Switzerland International 2015
Video/Film Natalie Decker's Fictional TEDx talk International 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) The Catalyst: Blue Butterfly Website of The Catalyst International Western Switzerland 2015
Video/Film The Making of Blue Butterfly International Western Switzerland 2015
Other activities Theatre play: Blue Butterfly International Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Tribune de Geneve: Des scientifiques et des artistes donnent le jour à un spectacle en forme de papi Tribune de Geneve Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Uniscope: La science en scene (#603) Uniscope Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: radio, television World Radio Switzerland: Blue Butterfly World Radio Switzerland Western Switzerland International 2015

Awards

Title Year
Scientific Delirium Madness Artist Residency - Joint program between Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST) and Djerassi Resident Artists Program (DRAP) in California, USA 2017

Abstract

Beyond their discoveries, scientists also need their work to be convincing and memorable in order to have influence. In our writing and in our talks we must keep people engaged, interested, and make our ideas stick with the audience for days or years after contact. Perhaps because of the lack of public-speaking training for scientists, the public has a surprisingly low involvement in and knowledge of scientific ideas. Entertainment, particularly in the form of live theatre, is a recognized method of engaging the public that subtly educates and robustly enlightens both the public and the scientists involved. While there are only narrow resources available for scientists and scientists-in-training to improve public speaking skills, it is clear that techniques from classical theatre and applied improvisation can be employed in the preparation and execution of a scientific presentation. We propose an Agora project centered on a new theatre play and performance created and realized through collaboration between artists who appreciate scientific ideas and scientists who practice theatre. The play will feature ideas from network theory in the fields of circadian genetics and insect social behaviour, in direct connection with the applicants’ peer-reviewed and internationally-funded research. We will develop complex and diverse characterizations to connect the general public more genuinely with these scientific fields. In addition to a full-length play, website and video production, we will also develop a condensed theatre piece paired with an interactive video presentation to bring into schools for teenagers. We want to create a portal for non-scientists to see and feel science as it is: a constantly changing, messy collection of mistakes and insights confronted with emotional, personal and practical demands familiar to people in other professions. From our experience, we are confident that science-inspired theatre can make this challenging connection.
-