June 3, 2015

SoapBox Science – bringing science to public spaces

Posted by Laura Guertin

In several areas around the United Kingdom and Ireland starting last week, you either saw or still have a chance to see groups of people clustered together in public spaces learning science!  Celebrating its fifth year in 2015, SoapBox Science is taking place in London (May 30), Swansea (June 6), Belfast (June 20), Bristol (June 7), Exeter (June 13), Newcastle (June 27), and Glasgow (June 7).

So, what exactly is SoapBox Science?

Below is a statement from the SoapBox Science website that summarizes the event:

“What happens if you put a few scientists on soapboxes on a busy street? We’ll tell you what happens: People who don’t usually think about science get to hear about it first hand, from scientists who don’t necessarily have shaggy beards and odd matching shoes, but who do know how to share their passion for experimentation, discovery and innovation. Soapbox Science is a grass-roots approach to taking science to the public. No fancy festivals; no stuffy lecture-theatres: just some of the UK’s top women in science, a couple of silly props, a dash of summer showers, and lots of unsuspecting tourists. It’s street theatre with a difference. And we aim to make a difference!”   —  Sumner & Pettorelli, Soapbox Science Founders, July 2012.

View the video below to watch these scientists in action!

SoapBox Science started as an idea by two research biologists, Dr. Nathalie Pettorelli and Dr. Seirian Sumner.  Dr. Pettorelli gave a fascinating interview that detailed how SoapBox Science began and the importance of the event.

So if you were unable to catch SoapBox Science London and hear these inspiring women kick off an outstanding and innovative science communication event, you still have a chance to catch other SoapBoxes!

It makes you wonder if we could do something similar in the United States…. or at least on our campuses…