The Freiburg Scientific Theatre engages theatrical methods to convey complex and important scientific messages (particularly around the topic of environmental governance and sustainability) in an innovative, entertaining and engaging way. We play to disciplinarily and culturally diverse academic and public audiences, and have a passion to demonstrate the potential of our Scientific Theatre concept to as many people as possible. We believe that the medium of theatre can bring a new value to the sustainability discussion and improve the communication of science among experts and also the public. The emotional appeal of the theatre experience can go further than mere words and inspire action across society for sustainable development.
We are a small group of young and passionate students/alumni from the MSc. Environmental Governance at the University of Freiburg, with an international and interdisciplinary background. We developed our Scientific Theatre as part of preparations for the 5th annual Freiburg Forum on Environmental Governance, presented in March 2012.
Our Scientific Theatre is an innovative and effective means of communicating and reflecting complex scientific, environmental and policy messages issues to academic audiences and the public. The concept combines expert knowledge with theatrical performance in an engaging and entertaining manner. Our Scientific Theatre, which can be aimed at adult or school age audiences, is very versatile and may be used to convey various scientific issues in a manner specifically designed to increase the audience’s connection with, and understanding and appreciation of, important environmental and social policy issues.
By combining scientific knowledge with artistic expression, we appeal to the emotions, thus engaging audiences at a deeper level than can be achieved through mere intellectual argumentation, and traditional conference style lecture techniques. Accordingly, we believe our Scientific Theatre is a powerful tool for promoting the transformation of our audiences’ knowledge about particular environmental or social problems into behavioural changes that will actually make a difference in addressing these problems.
Our Scientific Theatre is also very participatory. During and after our performances, the actors encourage discussion and participation with the audience. In this way, Scientific Theatre can address dilemmas and questions around scientific topics in a personal, emotional and comprehensible manner.