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Transforming engagement and communication through play and plays 
Fabien Medvecky (Australian National University)
Michiel Van Oudheusden (VU Amsterdam)
Frank Kupper (VU University Amsterdam)
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Marjoleine van der Meij
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

Engaging actors across varying forms and levels of expertise comes with questions of power and possibilities. This combined panel considers how public engagement and science communication can be transformed by drawing on/using games, theatre and other creative modes.

Long Abstract:

Recent years have seen a surge of interest in theatre that engages with science topics, as well as science festivals and public dialogues that narrate stories with elements of play, emotion, drama, etc. This combined panel draws attention to the plurality of ways we can use games, theatres and other creative formats intentionally to transform engagement with science and technology and with science communication. We invite submissions that either a) showcase examples of how such methods have been intentionally used in engagement and communication activities, along with a reflection on the practice, or b) academic work that critically considers and theorizes the use of such methods in engagement and communication activities. We welcome submission of an academic paper presentation as well as in the creative format under consideration in the presentation.

In line with the conference theme, we invite explorations regarding the various roles and normative and practical commitments of those who participate in play and plays, thereby opening questions of power and possibilities: Who gets to play with science and technology, both in the sense of who is entitled or permitted to participate (whether the permissibility is self- or externally-imposed), and in the sense of who has the means or resources to participate? Part of the answer lies with the processes and methods that are used for engaging actors. Developing appropriate responses to these questions will require critical self-reflection in terms of how participants (scientists, experts, citizens, as well as technologies, storylines, props, etc.) participate in making and doing ‘play.’

Accepted contributions: