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by Jim Gearhart

“Drawn to Science”: Using Animation and Wit to Inform

In past blogs I’ve looked at the challenge of communicating successfully with study participants. In 2013, Roche’s Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) Unit created an entertaining set of animated shorts that could help do just that. Inspired by another YouTube series, MinutePhysics, Roche’s “Drawn to Science” series combined video technology, artistic talent, and scientific knowledge to explain  research concepts such as biomarkers, stem cells, and the benefits of studying zebrafish.

One of the Drawn to Science videos seems especially interesting for clinical research. “Drawn to Science: Clinical Trials” illustrates the progression of a typical trial, including the selection of participants, the importance of blinds, and application of the results. The video, embedded below, condenses potentially dull information into an engaging three and a half minutes.  Anyone who has experienced the vicissitudes of clinical research will appreciate what happens to the straight-arrow “clinical study plan” at the end.

Featured Video Drawn to Science: Clinical Trials

The Drawn to Science project shows how imagination and the latest tools can take communication past the printed page to reach patients, study participants, and the general public. Check out all seven  (eight if you count the German version)  videos on YouTube:

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