16 Nov

There is an event that takes place in Europe every year in late September. It's called European Researcher' Night. The goal is to organize a day/night with activities that bring science to the general public.

Last year due to COVID-19 most activities were still online or with minimal contact. I work in Human Genetics and that was the first year I participated. Among several ideas one stood out. In this context of (very) active research in genomics, how about bringing the fundamentals of genetics/genomics to the public. Explain how they work and the differences between the two.

Approaching these complex topics in a such short  time frame to a (very) broad audience required creativity and a complete mindset change from what I was used to do. It had to be interesting, dynamic and (if possible) memorable.

Cue in (3D) animation. The reasoning was: it is fun, entices curiosity and it's different from what is traditionally done. Furthermore (and more importantly), it can be (somewhat) easily adapted to the message I was trying to convey.

And that is, dear reader, how GenAnimatEd was born. A 3D animation series where Human Genetics is explained using analogies and a cinematic thread.

At first there was some skepticism. "This is for children" some people said. Others stated "This is very basic". There where even those who said the episodes were merely (boring and unconsequential) biology classes. All valid opinions, of course.

Nevertheless, I persisted. There was a reluctancy of some to share because they believed it would not be taken seriously. People tend to maintain a rigid mindset regarding what is considered credible and trustworthy.

In that effort they loose sight of of the most empathetic form to reach others. Humor and lightheartedness.

Thankfully my animation fan side won and the series now contains more than a dozen episodes, including research projects outputs and scientific congresses invites/contextualizations.

Yes, communication of serious and complex topics can be done effectively in an animated fashion.

You can find more details on each episode in my portfolio page and the whole series here.

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