Like I previously said, it was yesterday.
We were somewhat anxious to see if anyone would show up at our second Other Data Club (ODC). We know, by now, that there’s always some experience going on in the labs and it’s not possible to be certain of who will show up at our meetings. If anyone!
Well, for starters the two of us, me and Alexandre, would be there. Teresa, the scientific coordinator for our residency at CNC, is a regular, too. Adittionally, yesterday we knew we would have the visit of Ciência Viva TV (Ciência Viva is one of the promotors of the residency program) who showed interest in attending and video-capturing one of our ODCs. We also knew that Tânia, a MA student on Anthropology which is currently accompanying our residency for an assignment, would also be there.
Ok, great. And now, anyone else? Any scientists?
The fact is researchers play an essential role in our ODCs as we imagined them. These are intended to promote the discussion and reflection about science (in its various aspects) amongst those, with us in between throwing them some unscientific provocations.
This week our provocation was an excerpt of ‘The Nose‘, a play we created and presented in 2003. In a tweet: it’s the story about a guy who loses his sense of smell and Science and Theatre both try to solve his problem. The excerpt we chose had some interesting dialogue between these two alegorical characters that we thought might trigger discussion, after.
The characters lines were read by some of the researchers who were there. One interesting thing about these readings of our previous work is that, in the context of our current residency, they gain new meanings related to the scientific environment we’re at and this creates interesting motifs for the discussion to come.
After the reading and inspired by it, we talked about the ways of representing science as a character – someone suggested science should wear jeans; we talked about theatre as therapy in cases of Tourette syndrome; also about the fast pace of today’s research which leads to less reflection about the experiments; and about the importance of the lab equipment in the research carried out in the centre as an essential means to transcend our limited senses; we started imagining “and if there was no technology? what about science?”; we talked about reflection as an important component of scientific work; we discussed the differences between the use of the terms researcher and scientist. All this amongst other topics.
Everyone there considered him/herself a researcher, not a scientist – that’s why we had no scientists in this second Other Data Club.