The Evidence Chamber

Nic Daeid, N. (Organiser), Doran, H. (Organiser), Hackman, L. (Contributor), Paul McFadyen (Contributor), Rachel Briscoe (Organiser), Joe McAlister (Organiser), Joe Barnard (Organiser), Sabrina Carter (Contributor), Gillian Lees (Contributor), Gary Mackay (Contributor), John Milroy (Contributor), Greame Rooney (Contributor), Chris Hall (Contributor)

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

Description

The Evidence Chamber is a piece of playable theatre drawing on a jury format. It asks how we respond to different types of evidence, its presentation and how our preconceptions can affect decisions.
How will you vote?
If you’re a fan of crime fiction, Making a Murderer or Line of Duty, or you’re just quite interested in solving puzzles, this is the show for you. In The Evidence Chamber, twelve (English system) or fifteen (Scottish system) players make up a jury who must review documents and audio and video evidence on iPads to reach a verdict on a murder case which hinges on two types of forensic evidence: gait analysis and DNA.
The audience watches ‘testimonies’ from characters involved and expert witnesses. Their decision-making process is supported by explanatory materials about forensic evidence. The experience is structured to measure the impact of these materials: the bespoke control system logs anonymised data on each juror’s decision-making process. A post-verdict debrief allows audiences to deepen their understanding of forensic processes and criminal justice procedures.
Commissioning notes and aims
The Evidence Chamber is commissioned by the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) at the University of Dundee. LRCFS was awarded a Gold Engage Watermark for Public Engagement by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), for their work with forensic science and legal practitioners as well as citizens playing an active role in helping to improve the use and understanding of science in the justice system.
The Evidence Chamber is simultaneously a public engagement tool and a way of doing research. Within the experience, players use comics produced by LRCFS to help them understand the forensic evidence that they are presented with. The public’s responses to the presentations of expert witnesses within the case are used to develop scientists’ communication skills.
Research done
The Evidence Chamber was used as a training tool for High Sheriffs in England in September 2020.LRCFS are developing curriculum resources to accompany the experience for undergraduate law and forensic science students.
LRCFS are working on an analysis of the anonymised data collected during the first 30 performances of The Evidence Chamber.

20 November 2020 @ National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement conference, online
3 - 5 November 2020 @ International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), online
24 September 2020 @ Encounters Film Festival, online
24 July - 9 August 2020 @ online
19 - 20 Oct 2019 @ Festival of the Future, Dundee
Period31 Oct 2019 → …
Degree of RecognitionInternational