It’s the start of year 4!

After an August of sweet, sweet rest Science Showoff rises again. Like Godzilla after a nutritious breakfast of Frosties, orange juice and nuclear waste. Like a superhero killed off eight months ago in an attempt to get more coverage for comics in mainstream media. Like Jesus. We rise again.

2014-5 starts in Birmingham, for a gig with our good friends the British Science Association. This is our first time at the British Science Festival, but the second time we’ve been to Brum. Last time we played the amazing Birmingham Rep studio, with dancers, actors, storytellers, comedians and scientists on the bill.

The rules of Showoff remain the same: Anyone can sign up to do anything on stage about any kind of science. Your set has to be under 9 minutes in length and… that’s it. We’ll bring a compere who will keep you safe and we’ll sort out a really friendly crowd of only adults (so you can swear A LOT should the mood take you).

The link you need if you’d like to perform is here:

The gig is going to be at the Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham. That’s here on Saturday September 6th. We’ll need you from 7pm-10pm. No-one is getting paid (not even the organisers) in order to keep ticket costs down for the Birmingham science fans.

Sign up. Play the original science festival. Blow people’s minds.

Science Showoff Bristol 7, July 17th – LINEUP ANNOUNCED

Bristol. How are things? Enjoying the World Cup? Of course you’re not. You don’t really understand how football works, do you Bristol? And all the beer advertising must really drive you insane. Rugby and cider, eh? Rugby and cider are the big Bristol things. Well, rugby, cider and mucking about on stage talking about science, of course.

We’re bringing chaotic science cabaret to Bristol for the SEVENTH time in July, with a cracking lineup who will tell you stories, make jokes, do demos and generally bring science to life in fun ways.

And who is this lineup, I hear you ask? Well, they are:

Steve Cross – Science Showoff MC, glasses wearer and nerd.

Ceri-Wyn Thomas – I will be explaining how woodpeckers will prove to be the saviours of humanity, through the media of materials science and awesome 80s action-adventure shows. AWESOME!!!!!

Hannah Woolley – Ever had a hangover when you really didn’t deserve to? I’ll be looking at what makes some beers worse for hangovers than others.

Kevlin Henney – There will be beer. There will be pizza. There will be romance. There will be humour. And there will be quantum mechanics. I’ll be reading Schrödinger’s Pizza”, a lab lit tale that bridges postgrad–undergrad relationships, the art–science divide and the questionable entanglement of metaphor and vegetarian food.

 Aaron Boardley – Empathy, mockery, or basic psychology? I always seem to imitate the accents and intonations of anyone I spend more than five minutes with…but why? I’ll spend a few minutes exploring the reasons behind this funny little quirk, and may even provide answers. WARNING: may include bad impressions.

Ross Exton – Imagine a creature which can invade your body, take over your mind, and kill you just for the fun of it. You may even have one living inside you right now, without you even realising it. I’m going to be talking about the supervillains of the animal world: Parasites.

Ezzy Pearson – Could blowing up the Moon with giant robot spiders help save the world? I’ll be exploring whether space mining will become a reality in our lifetime and why we’re thinking of doing it.

Karl Byrne – set tbc.

JV Chamary – Fuck Pandas (and Screw Giraffes): This won’t be an incitement to bestiality, just an expletive-laden rant about biodiversity. I’ll show photos of cute animals and describe a new conservation strategy.

The gig is at the Grain Barge in Bristol on July 17th. Doors open at 7pm with the gig starting at 7.30. We should be done by 10 and there will be an intermission. The gig is FREE but we’ll be collecting on the door for CALM (who work to prevent suicide, the largest killer of men under 50 in the UK) and we suggest a donation of FIVE POUNDS, all of which will go to the charity.

See you there!

Science Showoff Bristol 7, July 17th – SIGNUP NOW TO PERFORM

Love Science?

Have something to say about it?

Looking for the nicest audience there is?

Based in the South-West?

I have news for you.

We’re coming back to Bristol for one of our bimonthly takeovers of the magnificent Grain Barge pub (it’s genuinely on a boat! It’s really exciting) for an evening of science-themed chaotic cabaret starring YOU.

Ten brilliant Bristolians (or those from nearby) are wanted to perform 9 minute sets of any kind about any sort of science. We welcome science presentations, demos, comedy, music, interpretive dance whatever you’ve got as long as it’s about science. This gig is perfect if you’re a scientist eager to get out more, a science teacher who wants to have an audience of adults for once, a musician or comedian with some experimental science material to try out or ANYONE.

Signup here to perform:  sets are up to 9 minutes long.

The gig is in the evening (we’ll need performers from 6.30ish to 10.00ish) with doors opening at 7.00pm.

Animal Showoff – July 8th, UCL Grant Museum


For this amazing new twist on the Showoff formula 10 incredible acts pick an animal each and show off as hard as they can about it. Expect science, jokes, music, stories and laughter as we get under the skin of ten different species with animal lovers from across the UK.


Steve Cross – science comedian and compere. Naked mole rat lover. Swan hater. Equivocal about voles.

Cat Rogers (opera singer) – The Woodbird

Rachel Jennings (Horniman Museum) – Pigeons

Gavin Broad (Natural History Museum) – Wasps

Theo Blossom (ZSL London Zoo) – Pangolins

Jack Ashby (UCL Grant Museum) – The Platypus

Chris Faulkes (Queen Mary University of London) – Naked Mole Rats

Naomi Webster (Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust) – Ploughshare Tortoises

Sophie Meekings (UCL Insitute of Cognitive Neuroscience) – A gorilla

Elizabeth Dearnley (UCL School of European Languages, Culture and Society) – Wolves

Claire Asher (UCL dept of Genetics, Environment and Evolution) – Tardigrades

Doors for the gig will open at 19:00. Tickets are £6 (plus NO BOOKING FEE) from the eventbrite link at the top. All the ticket money will go towards conservation of the specimens of the amazing Grant Museum.


Science Showoff at the Royal Society – June 30th

I can’t think of anything more august than Science Showoff. There is nothing in the world of research more dripping with gravitas, seriousness and Establishment values than us. (SHHH!!!! THIS IS WHAT WE TOLD THEM! DON’T SPOIL IT!!).

We’re coming to the Royal Society again! On Monday 30th June they’re doing one of those super-fashionable Lates things called ‘Twilight Science’, and guess who will be hiding out the back misbehaving like CRAZY? YES!! IT’S US!!

So come and spend a boozy, funny evening with us in the club that runs UK science. We’ll be entertained by some amazing science communicators old (Steve) and new (everyone else) with a mixture of talks, jokes, music and whatever else they feel like. They are:

Dr Steve Cross – science comedian. Annoying.

Anna Ploszajski – UCL chemist/engineer

Dr Monika Bohm – Zoological Society of London animal expert

Dr Ross Williams – University of Lincoln molecular biologist

Soazig Clifton – NatCen social researcher

Rajiv Ramaswamy – UCL biomedical imager

Dr Audrey Nailor – Science Showoff Bristol team member

Dr Andy Holding – University of Cambridge biochemist

Rob Stanley – UCL biological modeller

Dr Kate Storrs – UCL teaching fellow in visual perception

Come and join us on June 30th at 7.30 (doors open 7.00) for an amazing evening. There will be a bar and it will be AMAZING. It’s FREE!!

Full details of Twilight Science are here:


Science Showoff curated by Imran Khan – June 17th, Star of Kings


It’s time for the fourth of our guest-curated London gigs, and another evening of science-themed chaos in the nicest pub basement in the capital.

On June 17th we host a lineup curated by Imran Khan (not that one, not that one, that one) which is a fascinating mixture of old hands, new voices, science policy, fun and communication experts.

Joining us will be:

Steve Cross – our compere will as ever be this science comedian, naked mole rat fan, chemistry refuser and general troublemaker.

Greg Foot – Science Daredevil & TV Presenter Greg Foot has been shot, frozen, electrocuted and buried alive in the name of science. He’s even gone under the knife to find out what human’s taste of. Luckily he won’t be doing any of this at Science Showoff. That would be too messy and void our insurance. Instead, he’s going to tell the gruesome, bizarre and downright bonkers stories of the Top 10 Scientific Human Guinea Pigs – researchers who have pushed themselves to the limits to further human knowledge. Knowledge we probably could have done without.

Fiona Russell – A pain scientist for over ten years, Fiona still gets mistaken for a PhD student. Here she explains her love for Botox.

Beck Smith – set details to come.

Andrew Steele – Andrew is a physicist-turned-computational-biologist, and he’ll be talking about neither. Instead, he’ll be making sense of what we spend on science, iPhones and toilet paper with the Scienceogram.

Martin Austwick – Martin Zaltz Austwick is a sociable physicist at UCL-CASA, a somewhat sociable podcaster on Answer Me This, Brain Train and Global Lab, and a barely socialised musician with The Sound of The Ladies. He also really likes eggs, and will be explaining their relation to science, hairdressing, and democracy.

Kat Arney – Cancer, credulity and quackery – from Ernest Bashford to drinkable suncreen. They didn’t work then and they still don’t work now – Cancer Research UK’s Dr Kat Arney takes a look back at a century of ‘miracle cures’ for cancer.

Chris Clarke – I’m a physicist turned science communicator wondering haplessly into the realms of chemistry and materials while I play with the science of food and then eat it. I’ll be inviting you to stare lovingly into a pint, delicately sampling its exquisite sciencey qualities, before a good old fashioned quaff.

Neil Jerome – set to be confirmed.

The gig is at the Star of Kings, which is rapidly becoming our favourite small venue in London. The last three curated Science Showoffs there all sold out well beforehand (so BUY TICKETS FAST) and were exceptionally brilliant fun. Doors will be at 7pm with the gig kicking off at 7.30. All the best seats will have been taken by 7.15!

[ plus don't forget Geek Showoff aka "The Entire Internet Drunk On Stage In One Evening" the night after (June 18th): ]


Science Showoff at the Bridgwater Science Festival – Saturday May 31st

We love science festivals. And we love new things. So guess what happens when a new science festival starts? That’s right, SHOWOFF COMES TO TOWN.

What should you expect? Science. Anarchy. Jokes. Stories. Demos. Facts. Fun. Performance. An exciting, beery, science-y night out for adults who like to look at people being brilliant and weird on stage.

For this very special Somerset gig we’ve recruited a lineup that features the London and Bristol Science Showoff families and a couple of our very best friends. Joining us for some longer sets than normal, with even more science and chaos crammed in, are:

Dr Steve Cross – regular Showoff MC, magnet-owner, trouble-maker, comedian and joke-teller.

Ross Exton – science demo king of the south-west of England.

Dr Audrey Nailor – guerilla experimenter and nature lover.

Will Davies – defender of the rights of wasps.

Becky Brooks – biochemistry expert and downer of pints of science.

Holly Rogers – biologist and keen watcher of awful films.

The show is at the Bridgwater Arts Centre, which is here:

It starts at 7:30 SHARP and tickets are available from: