Theatrical plays can explore the human aspects of science and scientists, including the ethical, moral, or political implications of science, while engaging audiences in a narrative. Plays also have the potential to communicate scientific ideas within a cultural context. Carl Djerassi, renowned chemist turned playwright, has said that he wants to use fictional portrayals to “smuggle scientific facts” into the minds “of a scientifically illiterate public.” Djerassi, along with a handful of scholars who study science theater, believe that if the narrative is convincing and the representations of science are accurate, science theater can be a compelling way to increase the public understanding of science or to raise awareness of scientific issues.

A number of factors increase the likelihood of audience engagement in scientific topics through ...

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