The Miasmatists is a unique theatre production that used drama and debate to reveal a story of the origins of key areas of science, technology and engineering that have come suddenly to the fore of public life: epidemiology; data analytics; science communication; public health policy; water & sanitation engineering.
We are living through a time of unprecedented dominance of scientific questions in our media and public discourse: What is this virus? Who are the experts? Can we trust them? Is the media portraying it accurately? This project used the dramatic story of a pioneering doctor and medical scientist John Snow and his battle with the “miasmatists” – those who believed in the “miasma” theory of the transmission of cholera – to illuminate the dangers of misinformation and the importance of the scientific method and education. By bringing our audience on a deep dive into the story of the successful fight against cholera, we hope to illuminate their experience of today’s pandemic. Ultimately, we aim to change people’s experience of the pandemic for the better, by giving them a greater sense of empowerment over the scientific debates and public health initiatives at its heart.