For the management team of the NWO-NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research we developed and wrote a one-off play called “Het Behouden Huys” (The House of Endurance)*. The assignment was to dramatize two topics: scientific integrity and social safety in academia. After consultation we decided to locate the play in a setting not identical, but parallel to one that most people at the Institute know.
An important part of NWO-NIOZ research takes place at sea, onboard ship, where colleagues live together for six weeks at a time. We located our research institute on a deserted island, where a PhD student arrives to join the isolated community.
In four scenes the play explores four different topics: data manipulation, sexual harassment, plagiarism and bullying. The scenes were initially planned to be played one by one, with a discussion after each scene, but to better convey the bigger picture and impress on the audience exactly what the PhD student had to endure, we chose to present the four scenes as a single play.
Afterwards there was a lively discussion with the audience who got us to replay some scenes and incorporate their suggestions for dealing with the issues.
*Het Behouden Huys was a wooden cabin built by the explorer Willem Barentsz when he and his crew were forced to overwinter in Nova Zembla in 1596.
Duration: 20 minutes play, followed by 90 minutes discussion/training
Writer: Loek van den Wijngaard
Actors: Loek van den Wijngaard, Elske Rollema and Suzanne Spliethoff
Trainer: Arjan Kindermans
Location: NIOZ, Texel