Soapbox Science

Soapbox Science brings cutting edge science to the public on the streets, highlighting the work of some of the best female scientists working today.

Scientist presenting to an audience at Soapbox Science

Bringing science to life

Soapbox Science is a novel public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do. The events transform public areas into an arena for public learning and scientific exploration.

Soapbox Science wants to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy, learn from, heckle, question, probe, interact with and be inspired by leading scientists. No middle man, no powerpoint slide, no amphitheatre – just remarkable women in science who are there to amaze people with their latest discoveries, and to answer the science questions the public have been burning to ask. Look out for bat simulators, fake breasts or giant pictures of volcanoes. Or simply hear the scientists talk about what fascinates them, and why they think they have the most fantastic job in the world!

Women in science

The motive behind Soapbox Science is not entirely apolitical. It is not difficult to notice the paucity of women in science, especially at the top of the career ladder, and the lack of recognition for the work that women scientists do. 

Since 2011, Soapbox Science has been used as a platform to showcase some of the most eminent female scientists in the UK at the height of their careers. For example, scientists such as ecologist Prof Georgina Mace (FRS), physicist Dame Professor Athene Donald (FRS) and chemist Prof Lesley Yellowlees (FRS; first female president of the Royal Society of Chemistry) have stepped onto the boxes. 

The events take a very real and up-front approach to increasing the visibility of women in science, and raising awareness of the current gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research.

Dr Veronica Fowler at a soapbox science event

Soapbox Science 2017

2016 was an exciting year for Soapbox Science, with more UK events than ever as well as the first international event in Brisbane, Australia.

2017 promises to be even bigger and better with 12 events lined up in the UK and 5 events abroad (Germany, Australia, Canada, Italy and Ireland), increasing the speaker total to over 500!

Alongside the expansion of the regular Soapbox Science events, 2017 will see the beginning of a new chapter with the launch of Soapbox: Art & Science. Four arts festivals will host special events which see scientists paired with artists to explore fun, innovative and engaging ways of presenting science to the public.

The call for scientists is NOW OPEN!! For the full list of events and more information on how to apply, visit the Soapbox Science website.

Dr Veronica Fowler at a soapbox science event

More information

Soapbox Science was founded by Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, Research Fellow at ZSL's Institute of Zoology and Dr Seirian Sumner Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol.

It is funded by ZSL, L’Oreal UNESCO For Women In Science Scheme and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

For more information on events and volunteering, please visit the Soapbox Science website: www.soapboxscience.org.