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Serious laughs!

Bringing comedy and science together

On April 9, 2018, BehaviourWorks researchers took part in an experiment unlike any they’d ever tried before – a live comedy show.

Smart Phones, Dumb People was performed to a packed house at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for one night only.

Advertised as “a mix of behavioural science, gags and live experiments”, the show pushed the boundaries of the live Change Room events already established by BWA to bring research and entertainment together.

Hosted by writer, performer and BWA Content Curator, Geoff Paine, the theme of the show was how our smartphones are changing our behaviours.

The audience was given the opportunity to get in on the act via live polling on their smartphones. The shared experience of 133 people in the same space discovering the same insights combined to make Smart Phones Dumb People a little dangerous and a whole lot of fun to be part of.

Our researchers take to the stage

Five BWA researchers – Liam Smith, Fraser Tull, Kim Borg, Sarah Kneebone and Peter Bragge, many of whom had never performed before, joined Geoff to present setups and gags, straight-up scientific facts and a few unexpected moments where it seemed like it was all going wrong. And it did, hilariously.

“At a time when science can seem a generator of bad news, people crave the kind of learning experience that lets them learn and laugh at the same time,” said Geoff.

For a glimpse of Smart Phones, Dumb People, view the highlights video (right).