Communicating History – Amsterdam DNA

Posted on

On the ‘About the Blog’ page of this blog, I made a pledge to steer away from a constant bias of being a former scientist and being someone who studies communication of scientific research in my posts. In keeping with this pledge, I’d like to begin with history. I love history, which is why I was so excited when I came across this post from Open Culture (who mention The Atlantic story).

At the moment, there is a brilliant exhibition going on at the Amsterdam Museum, named Amsterdam DNA. The exhibition is designed to capture the rich history of Amsterdam. The museum teamed up with the Dutch creative agency PlusOne to produce a series of videos for the exhibition. Here is the trailer for the exhibition:

The exhibition provides a 45 minute multimedia experience through the rich history of Amsterdam. The agency produced 7 films for the exhibition. Below you can see a clip from the second film called Revolt Against King and Church, which takes you back to 16th century Amsterdam.

You can read the interview with the director of PlusOne, Martijn Hogenkamp, about the creative development of the project here.

Lessons for Research Communication

Video is a powerful medium with the ability to reach a variety of audiences. More researchers across all fields should to consider doing videos to communicate their research to non-academic audiences. Having said that, not everyone has the technical know-how or the budgets the size of Amsterdam Museum. This is where collaboration comes in handy. There are plenty of graphics designers, illustrators and animators out there with various skill levels. And with tools like Twitter, they are a lot easier to find than one may think. So why not try? (Yes; I am aware of time constraints, job commitments, life, etc.) It is still possible to achieve great results. Check out this health promotion video that went viral here.