The Science on Screen films and the whole process has sparked a really positive response within the academic community. The researchers themselves are delighted to have had the opportunity to tell their story in a different way and be part of the process and the films are doing exactly what we hoped, i.e. bringing science to a broad audience and raising public awareness about the purpose of Irish research. More than that though, the films are being shown at different conferences and academic events both here and abroad by the researchers involved, to show how it can be done and what can happen when talented filmmakers and scientists have the opportunity, time and support to collaborate on these projects.
On ‘Feats of Modest Valour’;
“I was delighted to be able to watch it over breakfast this morning. Parkinson's is full of small victories but then so is life itself isn't it? It is always the patients with their courage that capture the audience - even in my book it was their letters to me that stood out... This year is the bicentenary of James Parkinson's Essay on the Shaking Palsy. There will be many celebrations but what I hope is that the patients who you have filmed so sensitively will be released finally from their iron masks and space suits. Perhaps the wonderful work that you have filmed will be the panacea we all pray for... My wife an ex psychiatric nurse who worked for the famous William Sargent has just watched your film too and loved it. The patients of course are the highlight but the science is also beautifully done and clearly explained. What are the plans for the film? Will it go on Irish television or perhaps already has? I wish your film all the best. It deserves to be widely viewed.” Prof Andrew Lees, Author of ‘Mentored by a Madman’ and most highly cited researcher in Parkinson’s Disease.
Quotes from an online survey filled out by audience members at screening event Nov 2016:
- “Especially loved the documentary on Parkinson’s, shows how much Ireland is contributing to helping people with these diseases. A really well organised event with great Q&A after.”
- “Thoroughly enjoyed and made more relatable by the human element. If it was science only, then it would not have been as successful”.
- “I haven’t stopped discussing the new developments in STEM research since watching the presentations.”
- “I didn’t realize what a big role Ireland and Galway plays in the area of medical research globally.’
- One filmmaker commented that ‘it was a humbling experience’ engaging with the scientists, during research for their proposal.
Feedback on the process:
During 2016 there has been a strong positive response to the project from the filmmaking community. Comments from feedback included:
- “I haven’t stopped discussing the new developments in stem cell research since I watched the presentations.”
- “I didn’t realize what a big role Ireland and Galway plays in the area of medical research globally’
- One filmmaker commented that ‘it was a humbling experience’ engaging with the scientists during their research for their proposal
Scientists involved in the process also provided positive feedback on the experience to date, with comments including:
- “I have really enjoyed the whole process and was absolutely fascinated with the different approaches everyone took. Not a single person I met with came at it from the same perspective”
- “[….] it helped to position the research in a wider perspective, which is often lost when we engage solely in our extremely specialised fields.”
- “I found it enjoyable. I think it’s a very valuable way to inform the public about our research. I was very happy to participate. Thank you for involving me.”