Explaining Complexity: Using Animation, Illustration and Interactive Media to Communicate Research

20 May 2019, 13:00 - 15:00

SG2, Alison Richard Building, Sidgwick Site

This event is aimed at Cambridge University PhD students and staff. To book your place please click here or use the online registration link on this page.

Dr Nathan Crilly and Chih-Chun Chen explore the challenges of communicating complex ideas to diverse audiences through a variety of digital media formats. Three case studies will be reported from an EPSRC-funded research project which sought to clarify and communicate the nature of complex system design and its relationship to emerging technologies. For example, the project studied the way in which technologists working in Synthetic Biology and Swarm Robotics conceptualise and address the complexity of the systems they are designing. Outputs from the project include:

  • A 35-page ‘primer’ on the subject of complexity (now with over 6000 downloads)
  • A three-minute animated movie discussing the subjectivity of complexity (now with 2500 views)
  • An interactive website (implemented by Dr Chen since she has programming skills) that generates annotated bibliographies for complexity resources tailored to a user’s interests (launched in March 2019)

Dr Crilly and Dr Chih-Chun will discuss the process of engaging with media partners, including working with science communication agencies, animators and film-makers, reflect on what they learned from the process and what they would do differently in future.