Neuroplicity: Leveraging New Media and Digital Storytelling to Connect Society to Neuroscience (2015-2016)

Scientists are infamously inept at communicating the importance of their research to nonexperts. However, most of the questions they study are of fundamental interest and relevance to society, and it is the responsibility of academics (and ultimately, to their benefit) to effectively translate their research to as broad an audience as possible.

This project’s objective was to leverage new media and digital storytelling to improve the connection between basic neuroscience research and society’s understanding of this research – its rationale, significance, consequences and limitations. The team developed creative and effective means of communicating key issues and developments in memory and disease-related brain research to a broad, nonspecialist audience. Through a website and videos, the team furthered the goals of communicating neuroscience fundamentals, the pleasures and challenges of conducting research and the daily practice of “doing science.” Team members aimed to dispel public misunderstandings of neuroscience and to connect their audience to resources for additional learning. In the spring, the team developed and tested out a neuroscience expansion pack for the popular game Cards Against Humanity at a Periodic Tables event in Durham.

Timing

Summer 2015 – Spring 2016

Team Outcomes

Neuroplicity (website)

Dr. Scott Soderling's Research (video)

Dr. Scott Soderling's Origin Story (video)

People on the Street: Show Me the Money (video)

Neuroplicity (Facebook page)

Project team demo at DIBS Discovery Day, Brain Awareness Week at Duke (April 3, 2016)

Bass Connections: Neuroplicity (presentation by Kunal Goel and Kaylin Tsukayama at The Edge Lightning Talks) (December 4, 2015)

Video

Bass Connections in Brain & Society: Brain Week 2016

This Team in the News

Jill Wentzell, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar in Biology

Postdoc Perspectives: Jill Wentzell

From Lab to Museum, Students Share Their Brain Research

Neuroplicity is about how to better communicate neuroscience research to the general public. Scientists have a tough time explaining to the public why their research is important. Through this project I ended up joining Nina Sherwood’s lab, which has been a great experience for me and had a huge impact on my trajectory. I’m going to the NIH for two years to conduct more research. —Kunal Goel

See related teams, Neuroplicity: Leveraging New Media and Digital Storytelling to Connect Society to Neuroscience (2014-2015) and Neuroplicity: Leveraging New Media and Digital Storytelling to Connect Society to Neuroscience (2016-2017).

Faculty/Staff Team Members

Mark Olson, Trinity - Art, Art History & Visual Studies*
Nina Sherwood, Trinity - Biology*
Jill Wentzell, Ph.D., Trinity - Biology (Ph.D.; Post-Doc)

Graduate Team Members

Eun Young Song, Graduate School - MA in Bioethics/Science Policy
Elizabeth Striegl, MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts

Undergraduate Team Members

Kunal Goel, Neuroscience (BS)
Tiffany Kearse, Neuroscience (BS)
Elizabeth Kim, Psychology (AB)
Yao Qi, Neuroscience (BS)
Kaylin Tsukayama, Neuroscience (BS)

* denotes team leader

Status

Completed, Archived