How scientists in the theater spread knowledge and offer you different perspectives
You and I know how COVID-19 came about.
A pandemic is difficult enough for everyone. But all the new words and terms surrounding the Corona virus do not make it any clearer in this already confusing time. The guests who appear on the TV talk shows don't help me either; I experience it as a mosh pit of opinions, claims, facts and myths.
As if you've been eating a twelve-course meal with courses that don't blend well together. Which then makes you wonder afterwards: what was it that I actually ate?
My brain sometimes just blocks it all.
It slams the Corona information entry door shut, taps on my shoulder and whispers in my ear: Stop. Do something. Go outdoors… Or pet the cat. Now!
But it is totally different with a theater lecture: a lecture by a scientist on stage who knows his craft. It’s a breath of fresh air.
No blockage in my brain. Only energy and eagerness to absorb the knowledge. And 'go home' with a satisfied and relaxed feeling.
That will be the case for you too.
You seat yourself comfortably. You focus, nothing to distract you. Humor is never far from reach as the energy flows between you and the speaker on stage. An engaging story about a topic such as genetics, energy, climate, politics, or science itself. You contemplate things you hadn’t known about, hanging on the speaker’s words, inspired by his or her fascinating ideas. Ideas that might even change your view of the world.
And you totally get it.
But can scientists actually do that, perform?
Yes, in fact, they can. Scientists are nearly always passionate storytellers. Examples abound. Think of well-known and colorful intelligent people such as Maarten van Rossum, André Kuipers, Rutger Bregman and Erik Scherder. They attract(ed) full houses with their theater lectures. But many lesser-known scientists also know how to spread knowledge in an appealing way across a wide audience.
Just click and watch
Last week, I experienced (via livestream) an evening of science, Order in the chaos by Diederik Jekel.
Diederik, a physics ‘nerd’, explains science on the radio, on television, on the Internet, in his book, and now, also in the theater.
As is his promise, he creates order out of chaos. He explains difficult concepts to you in such a way that you feel you are conversing with him at his kitchen table. How science works and why we need scientists. About the scientific revolution in which we are now living. Why science can help provide perspective. And how scientists are able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Science is about you and me
Developments come about rapidly. Scientists can show us what is possible and what we can expect from these developments in the future. You and I will have to deal with them inevitably, and if you use science well, it can help you regain control of your life.
Watching a theater lecture is like being invited to eat a surprisingly delicious meal. With courses that blend well together. And where you can enjoy yourself the entire evening.
Let me share the recipe with you:
- a large bowl of clear language
- several leaves of interaction
- a pinch of nuance
- a sprinkling of humor (don't hold it in!)
- a few sprigs of selflessness
- a generous dash of hope
Enjoy and learn deliciously.
Parktheater Eindhoven regularly programs theater lectures. The Parktheater collaborates with the University of the Netherlands, The School of Life, and Impresariaat Tiemersma en van Bokhorst, among others.
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