Playing popular science

Robin J. S. Sloan, Helen Dooley, Erik Gauger, Brian Quinn, Alasdair Rutherford, Adrian Saurin

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Popular science is a critical form of science communication and dissemination. While scientific journals and detailed textbooks are well suited to dissemination of detailed theories and findings within academic communities, there is a definitive need to inform the general public of key scientific concepts and challenges. Indeed, this is increasingly seen as a central part of any research project or funding bid: in the United Kingdom, the Research Councils stipulate a need to consider public engagement and outreach in research proposals

For scientists, the popular science book has long been a medium of choice, primarily because they already have a great deal of experience in writing. But in recent years scientific researchers have been increasingly engaged with other forms of popular science communication, including radio and television broadcasting. Early careers researchers are now provided with training in these areas, including guidance on how to develop programme proposals and how to write, present, direct, and edit materials for print, the airwaves, and screen. In effect, today’s scientists are expected to engage directly with popular science journalism not merely as scientific advisors, but as the writers, directors, and broadcasters.
This event involved an exhibition and discussion of four popular science games, co-designed by scientific experts and designed and developed by students at Abertay University. The four games were: (1) Namaka by Crowbar Games Co-designed by Ecotoxicologist Dr Brian Quinn (2) Tides: A Shark Tale by Benthos Games Co-designed by Immunologist and sharks expert Dr Helen Dooley (3) Orbs by Quantessential Games Co-designed by Quantum Physicist Dr Erik Gauger (4) Cell Cycle by Type 3 Games Co-designed by Cell Biologist and cancer researcher Dr Adrian Saurin
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
EventFirst International Joint Conference of DIGRA and FDG - Abertay University, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Aug 20165 Aug 2016


  • Serious games
  • Educational games
  • Science games
  • Popular science
  • Game design


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