“Transmission: Astonishing Tales of Human-Animal Diseases” represents a new approach to biomedical learning. The project will seek to determine if a popular interactive graphic novel format and a focus on animals can engage young people (ages 10-14) in learning about health science and clinical research.
The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) requests grant funding from NIH SEPA to develop, test, market, and disseminate an interactive graphic novel iBook that will use the interests of young people (ages 10-14) in animals and comics to engage them in learning about health and clinical research. Provisionally called ‘Transmission: Astonishing Tales of Human-Animal Diseases,’ the project represents a new approach to engaging young people in biomedical science learning. Graphic novels are one of the fastest growing categories in publishing and bookselling, and today, they are significantly more sophisticated than the comics that came before them. They are also enormously popular among young people. The proposed graphic novel iBook will focus on the diseases that humans and animals share and pass between them (sometimes to devastating consequences), from Ebola, bird flu, and West Nile disease to influenza, measles, and pneumonia. Moreover, like many other contemporary graphic novels, it will address a pressing issue of the day – namely, the growth of zoonotic and anthropozoonotic diseases. The iBook will be developed in a digital, interactive format (a growing trend within the genre) and, like many graphic novel titles, will tak a mystery and forensic crime approach to exploring its content. Ultimately, Transmission will become a national model for conveying biomedical understanding through the use of up-to-the-minute interactive iBook technologies and an engaging graphic novel format.