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.