PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Discover your views in the Frame Reflection Lab

Frank Kupper  

The frame reflection lab (FRL) is an ethical reflection tool that can be used for various groups of participants to support them to actively think about synthetic biology in a playful way. The FRL is a blended learning environment: it consists of four online video stories that each show a different perspective on Synbio. These stories are discussed in an interactive workshop to enable the participants discover their own vision on the role of this new technology in society. The four views shared by the online video stories are based on two central questions in the philosophy of technology: 1) Develop people and technology autonomously or in interaction? And 2) Does the man, or the technique the most influence on this development?. The characters are played out by professional improvisation actors. By making use of storytelling through semi-scripted improvisation we try to create a mix of authenticity, experience and analysis that is tailored to the empathy and the attention span of our participants. The workshop program combines reflective questions and creative exercises to help participants organise their ideas on the matter. We tested the FRL with (future) synbio researchers as well as other stakeholders, and with Msc students and secondary school students. In learner reports and exit surveys we have evaluated the process and outcomes. The FRL appears to contribute substantially to awareness and opinion-forming, thus creating opportunities for a constructive dialogue on new technology. In the PCST workshop we will present the principles and effects of the FRL based on our experiences and evaluations so far. You will watch the videos and do the exercises yourself to get a first person experience of frame reflection. Subsequently, you will be invited to discuss together about the merits and pitfalls of this new playful reflection tool.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.