Training day at the zoo – Soapbox Science 2016 at ZSL!

Last week selected speakers for this year’s Soapbox Science events made their way to ZSL for a training workshop. We were met with a whole host of ice breaker activities (including Scientist-Pictionary) and short concise sessions on verbal communication, improvisation and confidence. The guest speaker was Robin Ince, which I was especially looking forward to (being a total fangirl of The Infinite Monkey Cage).

Run by ecologists Dr Seirian Sumner and Dr Natalie Pettroelle , 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 debate, much like the format of London Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner (historically an arena for public debate).

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

The year of 2015 was an exciting year for the Soapbox Science team. They ran their 5th annual London event on South Bank at the end of May. In addition, they established new events in different cities around the UK, including Exeter, Newcastle and Belfast. This provided opportunities for >90 women in science all over the UK to get on their soapbox and tell the world about their work.However, 2016 promises to be even more exciting, with 13 events in the UK and the first Australian event in Brisbane. This year, Soapbox Science is particularly proud to feature in 5 new cities around the UK, namely Milton Keynes, Hull, Cambridge, Oxford, Reading and Cardiff.

The Milton Keynes event takes place on Saturday 9th July in Middleton Hall of the shopping centre. Come and see The Dirt Doctors and their colleagues speak about food waste, soils, energy usage in food production, nutrition and other related Agrifood topics. We’re also looking for volunteers to support the event – those interested can register here.

Hope to see you at the Soapbox Science Events this summer!