Narrative workshop organizing new "science communication" models based on the fictional self-portraiture of the scientist in a world transformed by his/her research.
Science is power, but it rarely ever was concerned with politics. The climate crisis and the pandemic may change this state of affair. How conscious are scientists of the potential disruptive nature of their research? If everything they investigate, publish, enable and transform becomes sooner or later a matter of societal concern, then scientists and technologists should consider themselves as "meta-citizens" imbued with specific powers - in other words, with great responsibilities.
It may be worth imagining new ways for scientists and citizens to encounter each other and engage in the co-evolution of their shared societal environment. Geared with their unique investigative perspectives and resources, scientists could become even more valuable to "the rest of us", if they found a way to open their science to a new range of questions, like for instance: "what would you do if i could change the world according to what i know?"
A way to find out about it would be to ask them to tell us stories, not about their science but about themselves. What if the scientist-citizen was suddenly a monarch, a minister president, or a benevolent ruler? What if s/he was a tyrant, a venture capitalist or a terrorist? Perhaps would we discover a lot more about their research object if we saw it "fictionalized"in the context of the researcher´s life, than if we simply asked scientists to "storytell" us what they do in their lab.
Science communication is not just about explaining things that are difficult to understand, it ́s also about researching both how the scientist discovers, - and it should explore itself as a force in everyone elses world. This fiction/science workshop is designed for scientists and researcher willing to develop their storytelling skills, and engage speculatively both with their subject matter, and with themselves.
The idea of this fiction/science workshop was to bring scientists in a new explorative situation. They met storytellers and artists to explore what they already know as if it was new to them, discovered what it could do to the world if it could, and produced stories, images, texts, perhaps even short films or podcasts streaming their visions out to the world.
Short or continuous coaching programmes will help them explore allegories and metaphors, build fictional world and characters, put scientist´s minds in new vehicles, - and eventually support the transfer of their research object in a variety of narrative media formats streaming them out to the world.
Potential participants (Doctoral Students, Scientific Staff, Professors) were asked to apply with a short self-portrait / motivation letter (A4) and a presentation of their research / object of enquiry.
After review, the candidates had been invited for a series of three writing workshops. The workshops were typicallly lasting 6 hours, they involved pitching and consulting sessions, "rapid proto/typewriting", sketching, role playing, plotting, character design, etc. A narrative object emerged out of these playful creative sessions to be finally media-formatted and published.
wintersemester 2020/ 21
The short narratives will be published on the "science almighty " web page, backed up with links and informations of the scientists and their science.
Realised by the Hybrid Plattform, designed and conducted through Timothée Ingen-Housz, professor for audiovisual conception and dramaturgy at the University of the Arts Berlin.