What do science, publishing, and filmmaking have in common? All want to get their message across to their audience. By using the same narrative techniques as filmmakers, scientists can catch the attention of their audience and tell their story so that it stays better in the memories.

Karger Publishers is continuously exploring new ways of knowledge transfer from scientists to their various audiences. That’s why we have started organizing and sponsoring a few events that connect film, storytelling, and science.

In January 2020, we set out to host the first event in connection to film: “Karger Publishers at the Movies”. Our CEO, Daniel Ebneter, had seen the film “Human Nature”, a documentary about gene editing, at a festival. Gene editing describes technologies that enable scientists to change DNA by adding, removing, or altering certain parts of the genes. He was so inspired by this approach of explaining a challenging topic to a large audience that he brought it into discussion with our local scientific network in Basel, Switzerland, and the idea of Karger Publishers at the Movies was born. We organized two screenings of the documentary, followed by moderated panel discussions with experts in this field. The event enabled the transfer of complex scientific findings including its ethical questions in a simple and engaging way to a diverse audience.

Audience in a movie theater watching a documentary from Karger Publishers

Karger Publishers at the Movies 2020

Beyond Classic Research Papers

The positive reactions and interest of the participants showed us the power of cinema to explain scientific topics, and we began to explore further ways we could support the transfer of scientific knowledge with new means that go beyond the classic research paper. Therefore, we started cooperating with the Swiss Science Film Academy, its festival, and its founder, Samer Angelone. He holds two PhDs in film studies and biology and teaches at different universities. Coming from both worlds – film and science – his goal is to build a bridge between science and society via film. This is an aim to which we as a scientific publisher can very much relate, since we also want to facilitate scientific communication between the various actors in health sciences.

One of the first events we organized together with Samer Angelone was the workshop Storytelling for Scientists. A group of young scientists learned how they could use storytelling techniques to communicate their science more effectively.

storytelling workshop organized from scientists by karger publishers

Storytelling Workshop with Samer Angelone

Dramatic Storytelling in Science

In addition, Gabriella Karger, our Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, has been part of the jury of the Global Science Film Festival since 2020. Together with other experts she had the opportunity to evaluate the great variety of competing short films. We are honored to be part of the festival since we share the same goal of transferring scientific knowledge to various communities.

Some of the short films shown in the Global Science Film Festival are usually created by participants of the Filmmaking Marathon. This year, we sponsored the event for the first time and were able to send five participants from our network. The scientists were trained in tools used in dramatic storytelling and filmmaking to communicate their research, thereby making their science more readily accessible for a broader audience.

If you want to see some of these creations, join the Global Science Film Festival taking place in Zurich and Berne on November 19-28, 2021.

We will be presenting each of these events in more detail in upcoming blog posts. So, stay tuned!

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