sharing the science
I love the metaphors that science provides for the arts, and I feel strongly that the power of scientific thinking should not be reserved for only a select few after decades of schooling. I believe that by creating new media narratives for the public involving science and scientific thought processes we can improve critical thinking in our societies.
The Catalyst has teamed up with Bio Science Network Lausanne to create an event unlike any other. Scientists and artists from around Switzerland will come together to produce short films on complex scietific subjects aimed at members of the public.
The 3 day event will also invite an amazing set of mentors in various aspects at the intersection of science communication and the arts. We are so excited to see what this event can produce!
If you are interested in taking part please visit the website and complete the application form (click image below to go to the website).
If you are interested in viewing the films that the event creates then we have a public showing at Cinema Club Pully on Dec 7th (click image below for more details).
A Science-Entertainment Collective
The Catalyst is a group of scientific researchers using entertainment as a means of engagement with the public. I founded this group in 2012.
We believe combining science and the arts is valuable in a variety of ways:
Improvisational skills enable scientists to present their work in an engaging and productive manner, both to communicate new research and to illuminate the process of scientific reasoning for the general public.
Creating new media about current scientific research allows us to bring forth novel science-related narratives and authentic characters from the scientific culture. When scientists lead collaborations with theatre professionals they can connect to the public with emotional nuance while maintaining scientific integrity and highlighting new discoveries.
We stage both original and adapted theater with actors who are also practicing scientists, and we host a monthly science-based improv show in the centre of Lausanne: CatCave9.
A modern play about acceptance
Blue Butterfly is the story of a young family grappling with demanding careers, an abnormal child, and fundamental forces of nature. Natalie and Simon are struggling scientists who turn to TEDx talks and TV to thrust their research into the spotlight, while their brilliant but dangerous seven-year-old daughter gravitates towards her grandmother's mystical beliefs. Their research into cancer, parasitism, and immunology echoes the complex dynamics of a family blind to their own dysfunction.
When life spirals into crisis, we must ask ourselves: what do we want to believe?
For 4 years either lead or coached within the speakers selection and coaching team for TEDxLausanne's main event. This meant choosing excellent speakers, helping them craft their talks, and making sure they were performing at the top of their game when they delivered their speeches on the day of the event.
An Enemy of the People
by Henrik Ibsen, adapted and directed by Adria C. Le Boeuf.
Performed at the Fécule Festival at La Grange de Dorigny May 4th, 2014 and at the EPFL Salle Polyvalente May 14-15th, 2014.
The new startup incubator BioInnovate is ready for their first major success story. The Emote, a novel brain-machine interface to treat depression and other mental illnesses, is just finishing clinical trials when the outspoken and charismatic Dr. Elise Stockmann, staff scientist, reveals what she thinks may be very serious behavioural side-effects. At first hailed as excellent news, considering the product hasn’t yet gone to market, soon everyone in the small entrepreneurial community has turned on her, trying to keep her quiet for the good of the company–and for the good of everyone’s wallet.
This adaptation of Ibsen’s classic play about the failings of the majority is here transposed into our time and set in our hypothetical backyard. If we were stockholders, would we want Dr. Stockmann kept quiet?
« The majority is never right. That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent person can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population -- the intelligent ones or the fools? »
EMERGENCE, the live installation and online experience, unlocks a series of narratives that reflect the scientific and philosophical concept of emergence. Sonic and visual stories show increasing complexity from the dawn of life to political revolutions. This experience encourages physical contact and touch with strangers in a public space while at once animating the emergent properties of one’s own motion in space. As participants navigate the story logic in unison, they observe live feedback of their pathway through 4D space. As a parting artifact, a branching, emergent neuron-like path is presented as a talisman of this converging moment.
Emergence is our attempt to merge scientific stories of increasing complexity with a new type of storytelling interface that calls on people to do what comes naturally: to come together, to touch, to converge. In this way, Emergence allows embodiment of storytelling practices by participants and serves as a metaphor for increasing coherence and complexity, or emergence. Human bodies collide like particles and create new stories, together. Each new person entering into a confined space, either virtually or in physical space, will allow the group to view the next segment of the story, projected or online. Without new people converging, the stories loop. The stories can be changed, but the concept of convergence of people driving a narrative remains.
By separating the human machine interface from the content, Emergence is flexible across platforms. The installation version used Kinect and Unity as the software/hardware components of interactivity, but the system is designed and intended to use other forms of input. A web-based implementation will require the audience to physically share a space in front of a computer. A mobile version will use proximity to to drive unfolding stories. We envision the content and the logic that drives the content as a sort of transportable suitcase. Have physical closeness, will travel.
Use your arrow keys (right key) here to simulate individuals entering into a confined space in a recreation of the Emergence storytelling installation for #tribecahacks.
A semi-improvised theater play about life inside, outside and around scientific research.
Immersive game and theater performance created for 10000 children at the University of Lausanne
Monthly English Improv theater, with a dash of science
CatCave9 is an improvisational theater format by The Catalyst theater collective, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. We are scientific researchers from Unil and EPFL, aiming to combine science and theatrical improvisation.
In our shows we explore improvisational comedy, both in short and long form, with a dash of science: each show features a guest scientist, presenting his research to the audience and the improvisers – you’ll be surprised where this takes us!
Are you a scientist and want to talk about your work at CatCave9? Please let us know, we’ll get you on stage!