Neurotechnology graphically told: In this science/drawing workshop, students developed comics on technology and brain which dealt with the social perspectives of neurological diseases.
Graphic artist Ludmilla Bartscht developed graphical stories together with students. They explored the subjects of neurotechnologies such as Deep Brain Stimulation, human-machine interfaces to control prostheses and robots, as well as neurological diseases. To this end, they were first introduced to the topic by visiting the laboratories of BrainLinks-BrainTools. They also met patients with neurological diseases for whom neurotechnology can be a treatment option. Afterwards, they developed their own graphic narratives together with the artist.
With this workshop we wanted to show young people ways of exploring topics, stories and images from the neurosciences beyond pure facts. Together with the illustrator Ludmilla Bartscht, we designed a program that included laboratory visits, ethical discussions, conversations with affected people and a drawing workshop. With these special experiences, we wanted to sensitize the participating pupils for the fact that neurological diseases are more than just biochemical changes of the brain and that they should also be considered in the social context: What does the decision for or against treatment mean for the sick person, for his or her personal environment and not least for our society? The topics of epilepsy and robotics impressed the young participants, which is reflected in the completed comics. Some students chose the futuristic perspective. In robotic and cyborg stories, they dealt with topics that we encounter again and again in the context of technology reflections: the boundaries between the human and the natural, the question of the originator of an action and the misuse of technologies for warlike or criminal purposes.
31.10.2016 - 4.11.2016
Laboratory visits and drawing workshop
University of Freiburg
The 15 young persons who had signed up for the project were between 14 and 17 years old. From October 31 to November 4, 2016, they gained insights into the functioning of the brain, the state of the art in robot technology and learned to draw and write their own comics with Ludmilla Bartscht. The workshop took place at the University of Freiburg. On the first day, the organizers Mathilde Bessert-Nettelbeck and Sabrina Livanec, with the help of Dr. Birgit Ahrens, Prof. Dr. Thomas Stieglitz and Prof. Dr. Cornelius Weiller, introduced the participants to the physiology of the brain and the research of the Excellence Cluster BrainLinks-BrainTools.
robotics and brain science
The second day included a visit to the laboratories of PD Dr. Tonio Ball, Prof. Dr. Carola Haas, Prof. Dr. Thomas Stieglitz and Dr. Michael Tangermann, as well as a meeting with people suffering from Parkinson's disease or epilepsy. The guests told the participants about their lives with these illnesses and with their treatments. Especially the Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's treatment and surgical methods for epilepsy treatment were discussed in detail by the guests and participants. The next day, Prof. Dr. Oliver Müller discussed the ethical implications of neurotechnology with the participants using a role-playing game. On the third day the pupils developed concepts for their comics, and the fourth day was all about graphic creation, whereby they were supported by Ludmilla Bartscht.
22.11.2016 - 27.11.2016
Hirn-Strips: Neurotechnologie grafisch erzählt
Museum für Neue Kunst
For one week the participants' drawings were exhibited in the museum. A vernissage, where the parents of the young people and the scientists visited the exhibition, was followed by a public Science Jam at the museum as part of the series »Bild und Hirn«.