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Live Experiment

Applicant Staub Kaspar
Number 139947
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Anatomisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Methods of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
Start/End 01.03.2012 - 28.02.2014
Approved amount 33'000.00
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Keywords (4)

Historical Anthropometrics; Science Mediation; Epidemiology; Scienetainment

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Deutsch: 

Ist die Wissenschaft eine Serviceanstalt? Wenn wir etwas nicht wissen, dann fragen wir die Experten. Entweder wissen die längst Bescheid, oder sie stellen flugs eine Studienreihe zusammen, die Klarheit bringt. So einfach? Leider nicht.

Ausgehend von einer konkreten «Rätselfrage» wird im «Live Experiment» das Fabrizieren von wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis exemplarisch und unter Beteiligung des Publikums durchgespielt. Die Menschen werden immer grösser – rund 15 Zentimeter hat der Durchschnittswestler in den letzten 130 Jahren an Höhe zugelegt –, das ist ein gut dokumentiertes Phänomen. Über die Gründe dagegen darf spekuliert werden – es gibt haufenweise Hypothesen, doch kaum gesichertes Wissen. Dieses Rätsel ist eine perfekte Ausgangslage für die «Live Experiment»-Dramaturgie: Warum nicht den Versuch wagen, mit den vor Ort gesammelten Daten der Zuschauer etwas zur Forschung beizutragen? Während in einem klassischen Science-Talk-Setting über die neuesten Erkenntnisse rund um die Körpergrösse diskutiert wird, werten Statistik-Profis hinter der Bühne die vorab erhobenen Daten aus. Die Chance ist gross, dass dabei eine statistisch signifikante Korrelation festgestellt wird – vielleicht diese: Am grössten sind diejenigen, die viel Kaffee trinken. Oder: Wer im Büro arbeitet, ist im Schnitt 5cm grösser.

Im zweiten Teil des Abends werden die Instant-Erkenntnisse präsentiert. Davon ausgehend wird sich die Diskussion öffnen hin zu grundsätzlichen Fragen rund um die «Faktenmaschine» Wissenschaft: Was ist verlässliches Wissen? Wer stellt es her? Wie oft behauptet die Wissenschaft etwas Falsches? Warum ist das nicht prinzipiell skandalös, sondern normaler Teil des Forschungsprozesses? Und wie kann ein Laie da Schritt halten?


English:

Experiments are usually carried out behind the closed doors of a laboratory, scientific studies are complicated procedures conducted by experts – in short: science is a black box, its functioning remains a mystery to the outsider. What we would like to present here is a science event with a real-time experiment as a main feature – the audience will actually be part of a hands-on demonstration of how up-to-date science works.

The organising team consists of two scientists and a science communicator. The scientists arise from two different fields: Kaspar Staub is a historical anthropologist working at the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at Zürich University. He is investigating the secular acceleration phenomenon (the fact that people are getting taller and taller) in Switzerland. Peter Jüni is an epidemiologist at the University of Bern, where he is head of the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Roland Fischer is a freelance science writer, formerly working as a scientific editor at “Der Bund” and “Basler Zeitung”. He is part of “Heureka”, an organisation of science communicators developing new forms of science mediation in order to reach a wider public.

The proposed evening will be divided into two parts: the first part will have a classical science talk setting, with Kaspar Staub as the invited expert. During this first part, a group of experts will perform a data analysis, based on the audience present. In the second part, findings gained from this data collected before the beginning of the event will be presented. This “live experiment” set-up will actually serve as a take-off for a discussion about much more basic questions than why the average body height has been increasing quickly over the last century. The main theme of the second part will be the fallacies and mathematical challenges of (medical) studies, and the notions of complexity and uncertainty in science in general.



Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Roland Fischer Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Mats Staub (dramatische Beratung) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Schauspielhaus Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Denkfest 2014 Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Ackermannshof Basel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Stadttheater Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Profil GmbH Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Lukas Bärfuss (dramatische Beratung) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Für Risiken und Nebenwirkungen gehen Sie in den Ackermannshof Tageswoche German-speaking Switzerland 2014
Media relations: radio, television «Wirkungen und Nebenwirkungen»: Wenn das Publikum zum Versuchskaninchen wird SRF Radio German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Aquarin® – weniger Schmerz, mehr Empathie German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Talks/events/exhibitions Live Experiment Event I, Stadttheater Bern German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Talks/events/exhibitions Live Experiment Event II, Schauspielhaus Zürich German-speaking Switzerland 2013
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Liveexperiment Official webpage International 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Pillen schlucken im Stadttheater Uniaktuell German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Video/Film Trailer: Zu Wirkungen und Nebenwirkungen International 2013
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Zu Wirkungen und Nebenwirkungen Official Facebook-Page International 2013
Video/Film Zu Wirkungen und Nebenwirkungen (full length recording first event) German-speaking Switzerland 2013
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Livestudie Official webpage Western Switzerland 2012

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
109802 Der biologische Lebensstandard in der Schweiz von 1800 bis 1930 01.10.2005 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Experiments are usually carried out behind the closed doors of a laboratory, scientific studies are complicated procedures conducted by experts - in short: science is a black box, its functioning remains a mystery to the outsider. What we would like to present here is a science event with a real-time experiment as a main feature - the audience will actually be part of a hands-on demonstration of how up-to-date science works.The organising team consists of two scientists and a science communicator. The scientists arise from two different fields: Kaspar Staub is a historical anthropologist working at the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at Zürich University. He is investigating the secular acceleration phenomenon (the fact that people are getting taller and taller) in Switzerland. Peter Jüni is an epidemiologist at the University of Bern, where he is head of the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Roland Fischer is a freelance science writer, formerly working as a scientific editor at “Der Bund” and “Basler Zeitung”. He is part of “Heureka”, an organisation of science communicators developing new forms of science mediation in order to reach a wider public. The proposed evening will be divided into two parts: the first part will have a classical science talk setting, with Kaspar Staub as the invited expert. During this first part, a group of experts will perform a data analysis, based on the audience present. In the second part, findings gained from this data collected before the beginning of the event will be presented. This “live experiment” set-up will actually serve as a take-off for a discussion about much more basic questions than why the average body height has been increasing quickly over the last century. The main theme of the second part will be the fallacies and mathematical challenges of (medical) studies, and the notions of complexity and uncertainty in science in general.
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