The Outbreak - Co-Designing a Graphic Novel on Pandemics & Bioethics.

The Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich Announces New Science Communication Project.

The Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME) at the University of Zurich has announced its new project, “The Outbreak: Co-Designing a Graphic Novel on Pandemics and Bioethics.” Supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNFS) Agora Grant the project aims at documenting, illustrating and communicating bioethical concepts that have emerged in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to better prepare ourselves for similar situations that are bound to occur in the future.

The goal is to co-create a graphic novel to provide a defined audience (Generation Z) with a clearer understanding of ethical key questions and ways to approach them. This will be done by creating space for dialogue between researchers, a graphic designer and user groups. This process will be part of the communication project before the end product (i.e., the graphic novel).

“We as bioethics scholars must be in touch with the public,” says Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Nikola Biller-Andorno, PI of the SNSF Agora Grant. “We need to use our ethical concepts and analytical tools to support young citizens so they feel prepared to engage in a constructive, nuanced public discourse on the management of the current and potential future pandemics or other public health crises to foster societal resilience.”

The graphic novel will be the final result — but first, there will be a dialogue between scientists and society. In collaboration with a team of graphic designers, a series of stories will be illustrated in a unique and visually appealing way.

This project is a collaboration between the University of Zurich, EPAC Academy of Contemporary Art, The Citizen Science Center Zurich, the Swiss National Science Foundation and Conexkt.
Call to action
Does this sound like something you would like to be a part of? We are looking for a diverse group of 10 volunteers to be part of our “mini-publics” during this project. The mini-publics will help co-create and develop the most important and relevant messages to this discussion.

To view the requirements and apply, please visit this link:

For more information, check the project's details, email Giovanni Spitale, or follow us on TikTok.

For media inquiries, please contact: Prof. Dr. Nikola Biller-Andorno

Giovanni Spitale