P10: Reaching out Beyond the Exome: Using graphic medicine to educate the public about the science behind and the impact of rare genetic diseases
Open postions: none
Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Thomas Schnalke
Public outreach is critical for bringing the newest scientific findings into the public eye and for conveying the impact of medical research on the individual and society. Crucial for the success of any outreach project is determining the target audience and the most effective media for communicating with it. Graphic medicine, the use of narrative pictorial art to convey complex emotional and scientific information, is an ideal medium for an outreach project, especially in the international city of Berlin; because images engage audiences across language and cultural barriers. Embedding graphic medicine into medical history objects on display will amplify their message. Beyond the Exome and the Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité propose a project-based partnership in which they jointly design and mount a graphic medicine-based exhibition about rare genetic diseases. This project aims to educate the interested public on the scientific context, current technologies, and societal impact of the research performed by Beyond the Exome. The project will hire a scientific curator to create a high quality, fresh, unique, innovative, and scientifically accurate exhibition. The scientific curator will work closely with Beyond the Exome scientists, the museum director, and the outreach coordinator to build the exhibition’s narrative. The duties of the scientific curator will include: hiring a graphics artist who will act as visual translator, meaning (s)he will translate the emotional and scientific content into a graphic narrative; identifying objects related to research into and living with a rare genetic disease, and partnering with a German television station to produce interviews with patients living with a rare genetic disease. The resulting short films will be on display as part of the exhibition. Reaching out Beyond the Exome: Using graphic medicine to educate the public about the science behind and the impact of rare genetic diseases will be the first time that German scientists commission a graphic medicine-based exhibition for the specific purpose of explaining their research and its impact to members of the general public. This outreach project is unprecedented in form and scope within Germany. It represents a new and engaging way to increase public knowledge of rare diseases with underlying genetic causes and to create greater public awareness of their impact on individuals and families.