1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Cesagen · Research

Cardiff sciSCREEN

Katie Featherstone, Jamie Lewis, Andy Bartlett

Start date


Affiliated staff

Michael Arribas-Ayllon, Richard Watermeyer, Cerys Ponting (BRASS), Claudine Anderson (Wales Gene Park)


Jamie Lewis – sciscreen@cardiff.ac.uk / 02920 870488


Cardiff sciSCREEN is a cross-disciplinary programme that promotes the engagement of publics with science (in particular, psychiatry, the brain, stigma, mental health and genetics) and the research academy. Using special showings of new release films, sciSCREEN uses local academic expertise to discuss contemporary developments in science in an understandable and entertaining way, facilitating debate on the wider social and cultural implications of these advances. These discussions draw on a range of disciplinary perspectives and the broad repertoire of themes found within contemporary cinema. As sciSCREEN has developed it has evolved into a place of engagement, a site of research into public understanding of science and a training venue for those interested in engagement.


Cardiff sciSCREEN has multiple aims and objectives.

First, it is a cross-disciplinary public engagement event intended to be welcoming and not overtly academic in nature, so as to encourage public involvement. The effectiveness of this engagement approach is then measured through monitoring of attendance, blog activity and the debates within the event tracked through audio-recording.

Second, sciSCREEN is a site of research in its own right where it is used to explore:

  • research into public discourse
  • spaces of engagement
  • public interaction with different specialisms and expertise
  • dialogue across specialisms
  • speakers’ imaginations of their publics

Third, sciSCREEN aims to develop academics’ core skills by offering training to individuals in terms of presentation to publics, event organisation and management.


The multi-layered aims of Cardiff sciSCREEN require a multi-faceted methodological approach. This includes the following ethically approved activities:

  • Quantitative data collection on blog activity
  • Quantitative data collection on event attendance
  • Qualitative questionnaires populated by attendees
  • Ethnographic fieldnotes recorded during events
  • Qualitative analysis of audio-recorded data taken during events 

Project update

Our interest has been mainly focussed on issues of psychiatric genetics, the brain and mental health. Neveretheless we have run events on other themes such as sustainability, tissue engineering and speech impairment. For example, speaker’s talks have included:

  • Trigger Events for Psychiatric Disorders
  • The Historical Treatment of ‘madness’
  • Psychological Impact of Military action
  • Psychology of Lucid Dreaming
  • Corporate Espionage and Business Ethics
  • Cloning and the Media
  • The Philosophy of Vitalism
  • Biodiversity and Urban Food Consumption
  • The Experiences of Stammering
  • The Ethics of Organ Donation 


We received ethical approval in September to turn the event into a site of research. We are currently in the process of evaluating some of the data we have collected. 

Further information

For further information, please contact Jamie Lewis on 02920 870488 or visit the Cardiff sciSCREEN blog at www.cardiffsciscreen.blogspot.com.

You can also follow Cardiff sciSCREEN on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/sciscreen or by searching for Cardiff sciSCREEN on facebook.