1 January 2011
of the overall UK STEM workforce are women.*
the percentage of all engineers in the UK who are women. (Compared to 10.5% reported in 2010.)***
increase in female STEM graduates in the UK between 2015 and 2019.**
Soapbox Science brings cutting-edge science to the public on the streets, highlighting the work of some of the best women and non-binary scientists working today.
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. There is also a real lack of recognition for women and non-binary scientists' work.
Since 2011, Soapbox Science has been used as a platform to showcase some of the most eminent 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.
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!
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.