In 2018, Nicola Baldwin and I met when I gate-crashed a public engagement event on Antimicrobial Resistance as a member of the public. Nicola was helping facilitate the session. I was immediately inspired by how she enabled conversations to happen between different people of very different backgrounds in the room.
We agreed to meet up for coffee and a lab tour, as Nicola was just as interested in the science as I was in using drama and stories to communicate our message. In that moment, the Nosocomial Project was born.
Why am I writing about this today? Well, for three reasons:
- Firstly, I don’t think we talk enough about the power of stories to support change: change in behaviour, change in communication and change in the kind of science and research we might undertake.
- Secondly, it’s the Antibiotic Guardian awards tomorrow and we’ve been fortunate enough to be shortlisted in the Public Engagement category.
- Finally, it’s the last day of antimicrobial awareness week and so it felt very timely.
The project has included a lot of different events and subprojects and has reached over 2000 people over the last couple of years. Although the projects all have slightly different target audiences, and are delivered in different ways, the main thing is how they develop.
The process is about collaboration and co-production. It’s about trying to give everyone a voice and finding innovative ways to reach out and find new stories, along with new participants. The team is about providing funding and stakeholders to support bringing people into a room (virtual or digital), as the collective leads to more than could be produced by any individual.
The core team work with creatives, scientists, health professionals and members of the public, with >50 collaborators so far. With the Rise of the Resistance Festival, scheduled for May 7th and 8th 2021, we are hoping to grow that number even more. So, if you want to join us in using drama to create impact and change, tweet us @girlymicro @NosocomialThe