I’m delighted to announce that my new book publishes this week, as it provides an excellent example of the kinds of things we’re trying to do here at Bournemouth through the Sustainable Storytelling Lab and the Science, Health, and Data Communications Research Group: harness the power of narrative storytelling to effect positive behaviour change related to the UN SDGs. It also offers an overview of how two very interdisciplinary teams formed (thanks to a Crucible program) and established successful patterns of working, despite our vastly different spheres of expertise.
Both the United Nations and the World Health Organization stress the need to address numerous increasingly urgent ‘global challenges’, including climate change and ineffectiveness of medication for communicable diseases.
Despite climate change resulting from human activity, most humans feel their contribution is minimal; thus any effort made toward reducing individual carbon footprint is futile. Likewise, individual patients feel their health is their own problem; current increases in outbreaks of formerly controllable diseases like measles and tuberculosis show that this is not the case. There is a dire need to instil a stronger sense of personal responsibility, to act as individuals to resolve global issues, and the pilot studies presented in Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education offer an entertainment-as-education approach: interactive digital narrative.
The researchers on these teams cross diverse disciplinary boundaries, with backgrounds in chemical engineering, microbiology, romantic studies, film studies, digital design, pedagogy, and psychology. Their approach in Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education to interdisciplinary research is discussed herein, as is the practice-based approach to crafting the interactive narratives for health and science communication and for specific audiences and contexts.