Hanbyul Jeong, KAIST
Sydney 2018: Knowing and governing

Introducing My Laboratory: The Lab-Life Simulator (IML) is a board game designed by Engineers and Scientists for Change (ESC), an incorporated association (NGO) of scientists, engineers, science journalists, STS scholars, and citizens in South Korea. The game aims to simulate a social life within university laboratories so that the players can have a virtual experience of being a graduate student in science and engineering. Two types of game are developed. One game provides a monopoly-like board, on which players compete to fulfill their graduation requirements. The other game lets the players experience the lives of graduate students in the same laboratory and make choices in a series of random events based on the actual yearly work cycle.
Laboratory studies in STS have made contributions to the understandings of knowledge, culture, politics, and ethics in science and technology. But there still remains a question about how such contributions can be circulated, applied, and accepted outside the STS community. IML suggests that designing and playing a game can effectively communicate the insights from STS on the influence of power, money, and policy in scientific research and education. The developers of the game expect that the game’s performative nature of seeking fun by twisting reality provokes the players to share their knowledge, thoughts, and imaginaries on early scientific careers. By virtually opening up the laboratories, on which students begin their career without enough information, the game also provides citizens and experts with an easy access to share their expectations and experiences in science.