NanoAthero’s ethics partner Edinethics Ltd. presented the prototype of a DEMOCS card game for public engagement at the CLINAM 2016.
Democs is a group discussion method based around cards devised by the New Economics Foundation (nef) in 2001. It aims to help people to learn about important new developments in science, technology and medicine, and to think about their ethical and social implications, and form their own opinions. No expert knowledge is required!
This Democs game on the topic of “Nanoparticles to predict and treat atherosclerosis “explores the idea of using nano-sized particles to test and treat people for the early signs of unstable plaques and blood clots caused by the disease atherosclerosis, which could lead to a sudden heart attack or stroke. The nanoparticles reveal affected areas of the heart as images on scans like MRI or ultrasound. Medicines encapsulated in nanoparticles can then target and treat these damaged areas.
It’s part of a European Commission scientific research project called NanoAthero (Nanomedicine for target-specific imaging and treatment of atherosclerosis: development and initial clinical feasibility).
The prototype version has been beta-tested by some of the partners in NanoAthero as well as with lay public and is part of NanoAthero’s WP 7 on dissmination , training and exploitation.
The final version of the Democs game will be produced in the coming months. The aim is to dissminate the game to e.g. patient organisations and interested lay public but also to students of involved fields in science. An online version of the game might be developed in near future.
For more about this and other Democs card games, and more about the ethics of nanomedicine, see the Edinethics website.