Call for papers

Theatre about Science: theory and practice

2nd International Conference

The extraordinary meeting held in Coimbra on November 25-27, 2021, with participants from Portugal, Spain, UK, US, Italy, France, Germany, Brazil, Belgium, The Netherlands, Czechia, Switzerland, Norway, Canada, revealed a rich ecosystem of academics, theatre practitioners and science communicators, who perform, communicate and/or reflect upon science through theatre.

Recent publications, such as The Cambridge Companion to Theatre and Science¹ (2020), Performance, Medicine and the Human² (2020), and announced forthcoming publications such as Science & Theatre: Communicating Science and Technology with Performing Arts³ (2022), Performing and Communicating Science⁴ (2023) and Routledge Companion to Performance and Science⁵ (2023), confirm a dynamic and diverse field of practice and study.

These works address a variety of perspectives on the theatre/performance and science intersections, such as geographies, histories, scientific disciplines and topics, audiences, participants, venues, formats, scientific approaches in theatre practice, displaying an intense practice and research in this field.

Considering this effervescent context, and following the success of the first meeting, we will organise in Coimbra, on November 9-11, 2023, the 2nd International Conference Theatre about Science: theory and practice.

We welcome contributions ranging from the performing arts to the communication of science, and of diverse nature – from academic to practical research and performance. We also welcome contributions exploring connections of theatre with formal, natural, health and social sciences. 

We encourage participants from all over the globe, with the aim of mapping and expanding the network of people working in this interdisciplinary field – Are you working in this field? What are you doing? Why do you do it?

¹Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (ed.); ²Alex Mermikides; ³Emma Weitkamp & Carla Almeida (eds.); ⁴Mário Montenegro, Fernando Matos Oliveira, Teresa Girão, Sara Amaral & Francisca Moreira (eds.); ⁵Paul Johnson, Simon Parry & Adele Senior (eds.) 

We welcome contributions on subjects such as:

Scientific subjects and concepts
Theatrical subgenres and forms
Contemporary practice in theatre about science
Future trends in theatre about science
Theatrical research processes vs scientific research processes
Theatre in the training of scientific researchers
Funding in the arts and in science
Communicating science with theatre

That might address questions such as:

Can theatre help solve scientific problems?
Does scientific knowledge transform theatre?
What kinds of audiences for science in performance?
Does theatre make sense in science communication?
What kind of knowledge can theatre add about science?
Can theatre transform the ways scientists perform their research?
How does theatre engage with public debates about science and scientific developments?
Can theatre inspire new scientific research?
Where is the boundary (if any) between science communication and performing communication?

Formats accepted in the conference:

— Oral presentation on one of the themes of the conference (15 minutes).
— Discussion panel: a group of up to 4 speakers on a specific subject. Proposals must include a convenor (who will organise and lead the discussion), and an abstract on the topic of the discussion (90 minutes).
— Lecture-performance related to the themes of the conference (max. 30 minutes).
— Workshop related to the themes of the conference (max. 90 minutes).
— Short performance related to the themes of the conference (max. 30 minutes).


— Submissions should be in English*
— Between 300 and 400 words

*Although presentations in Portuguese might be considered, we strongly recommend the presentations to be in English, considering the accented international focus of the event

Relevant dates:

Deadline for proposals submission: March 15, 2023
— Deadline extension for proposals submission: March 31, 2023
— Notification of acceptance: April 30, 2023