EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Resilience - Combining Sci-Art and card games for more effective public engagement

Kelly Stanford and Chris Skinner
Kelly Stanford and Chris Skinner
  • Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, UK, UK

Engaging the public with research and environmental issues can be challenging due to the complexity of the topics and pre-existing misconceptions. Independently, interdisciplinary approaches such as sci-art and games have shown some promise for engaging people with complex and unfamiliar issues. This raises the question: Can the two be paired together for the better?

This project aims to see if sci-art and card games can be used together as a more effective and enjoyable way to engage people with environmental issues, as well as inspiring interest in science more generally. It also seeks to find out if art can influence the retention of information when paired up with the card game format.

To test this, we designed a card game that uses varying levels and styles of art to engage people with issues around flooding and climate change. An open international invite has recruited a large number of participants to take part in the study. In the study, participants are given a random version of the game to play and afterwards, and asked to complete a short questionnaire related to the game’s topics. This is supported with targeted facilitated sessions at university campuses, outreach and public events across the UK.

The results will demonstrate whether combining sci-art and card games in combination improves on just using either on their own. These are expected to vary depending on a number of factors, including what version of the game was played, the demographic playing the game and the location.


How to cite: Stanford, K. and Skinner, C.: Resilience - Combining Sci-Art and card games for more effective public engagement, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9987,, 2020

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  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-9987, David Crookall, 01 May 2020

    This solunds like fascinating research.  Congrats.  However, I would imagine that it is particularly difficult to tease out the various strands and trends.  ((Chris: Would be great to get an article on this for the special issue.))

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Kelly Stanford, 01 May 2020

      Hi, thank you for the kind words! The research/data taking is multilayered in order to try cover everything and the abstract doesn't really do it justice (as always). As it is a lot of research for an MSc, we are entertaining the idea of expanding it into a PhD which will allow us to cover the majority of the  scopes I set out to answer with the game rather than just settle on just one or two. Hopefully this will make the resulting study(s) more conclusive by covering how it can be implimented as a tool for outreach AND education + its effectiveness in those areas.

      At EGU 2021 we'll be bringing the game along with us to the gaming session so feel free to pop along for a playsession. :-) 

      I'm sure Chris would love it featured in a special issue. I know I would!


      • CC2: Reply to AC1, David Crookall, 07 May 2020

        Thankls, Kelly.  Yes, expanding to a PhD would be wonderful.  I have recently been in the committee or observer of three PhDs on simulation/games for geoscience research, and I would say that yours would be a marvellous addition for scholars -- apart from the PhD itself.

  • CC3: Comment on EGU2020-9987, Sylvia Knight, 07 May 2020

    The game looks brilliant! I'm going to be revamping our (the Royal Met Soc) climate negotiations for schools over the summer and one thing that I need to do is improve the market places (climate science, adaptation and mitigation, climate justice)- where students 'collect' information and bring it back to their fellow delegates. I was thinking of using a top trumps type approach for one of them. The key is to get the students interacting really quickly. Do you have any advice?

    • AC2: Reply to CC3, Kelly Stanford, 08 May 2020

      Cards would be a great way to do this but you need to make sure the design of the cards is desirable enough that people want to keep them after the event rather than throw them away. If you want to have a longer discussion about this feel free to drop me an email at That way we could arrange a voice call and I can better explain options to you. :-)