Science Showoff Bristol 8 – Sept 18th, Grain Barge

Hi Bristol,

So, we’ve been seeing each other on and off for over a year now, and I feel like we really get on. There’s something special between us.

But I’m just not ready to commit. The nights we have together are incredible, full of science, and fun and chaos, and I love the fact that we have so many fantastically talented friends in common. Let’s keep doing that. Let’s not settle down and find ourselves watching Celebrity Big Brother while the world happens outside. Let’s keep making science weird and exciting together. Let’s make amazing things happen, but not too often. So how about it? September 18th maybe?

I was thinking we should ask a bunch of our brilliant friends along to entertain us in a science-y way for 9 minutes each. So how about:

Steve Cross – has a Wikipedia page. It seethes with passive aggression.

Audrey Nailor – Science Showoff traditionally shines the cold light of Science on poop, parasites and terrible creatures. I’ll be talking about the last, most disgusting taboo: the human fetus.

Bonnie Buckley – Do you love your eyelids? Find out what makes them so great and who’s missing out.

Antony Poveda – HAHAHAHahaha…haha…ha. Yes, we all love a good laugh, but what is comedy? Why does humour exist? And where is the funny bit in The Big Bang Theory? A deadly serious journey into the research that attempts to answer these critical questions, three wry smiles guaranteed!

 Ezzy Pearson – Why did the Moon get pounded during the Late Heavy Bombardment? Why did Jupiter and Saturn’s relationship cause Neptune to leave them for Pluto? How did the Earth getting over friendly with a passing planetoid end up with the Moon being born? BBC Sky at Night Magazine’s Ezzy Pearson talks through the sexy early days of the Solar System’s formation.

Matthew Allen – The year is 2057 and NASAs next mission is to send an Astronaut on a one way trip to the centre of a black hole. I’ll show you what it would be like as they fall in, explain what Spaghettification is and how they would be able to see the back of their own head!

Will Davies – The world of stand up comedy, like comedy, is rife with both inspiration and imitation. The difference between standing on the shoulders of giants and riding on their coat tails is often a matter of perspective. Or, in this case, a conversation over lunch that one of you forgot and the other didn’t, and then you remember it later and OH LOOK WHO’S DOING A STAND UP SHOW ABOUT IT, ANTHONY. FANCY THAT. ANTHONY. WOOOOOOOW. Anyway, here’s some shit about plagiarism.

Georgia Malcolm – A talk about an argument I had on Facebook with some hippies about the relative merits of expensive Himalayan pink salt, ordinary table salt and road grit salt

Tim Maynard – I’m going to show you what makes chameleons one of the most adapted lizards in the world.

The gig is at the Grain Barge in Bristol on September 18th. 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 Bristol Mind (who support Bristol’s mental health) and we suggest a donation of FIVE POUNDS, all of which will go to the charity.

Me and you, Bristol. Me and you.


SCIENCE SHOWOFF 4.1 – Star of Kings, London, Sept 16th


London! Did you miss us? Season 4 starts here with a special treat – a night of chaotic science fun and excitement on September 16th curated by our compere and founder, Steve Cross. We’ll be filling the stage with science folk talking, telling jokes, doing demos, making music and generally just showing off. You just need to fill the room with your lovely selves.

And best of all – your ticket money will all go to the Child Poverty Action Group.

Tonight’s acts are a mixture of incredible new faces and hardened Showoff veterans:

David Mills – I’ll be taking about taking photos of the insides of things including my lunch and old books with X-Rays.

Helen Zaltzman – Helen Zaltzman is one half of the Sony Award-winning podcast Answer Me This!. She is an ‘internet expert’ on BBC 5 Live and created the world’s first giant inflatable Boggle set.

Chris Creese – After surviving venomous snakes and a band of faeces-throwing howler monkeys while living in the jungle for a PhD, Chris decided to take on the challenge of helping scientists communicate their research. The worlds are not so far apart and there’s still plenty of shit-dodging. Come hear Chris share behind-the-scenes stories of her scicomm (mis)adventures.

Dan Schreiber – Dan is a bespectacled funnyperson, broadcaster and raconteur. He’s the brains behind Radio 4’s Museum of Curiosity and is about to front his very own Channel 4 show.

Sam Evans – I’ll be talking about how we understand speech, and why speech scientists love to watch the clangers.

Sheila Kanani - I am usually physics’s number one fan, but for one night only I’ll be putting it down! Normally science helps us understands things, but physics just messes with your brain. I’ll use optical illusions and some brain hurting information about light and colour to denegrate physics!

Zoe Cunningham – Zoe Cunningham taxes her renaissance brain to the limit by attempting the previously unseen feat of Easy Science Experiments for Children. Yes, it does require safety goggles. Stand back.

Els Price – I’ll have a powerpoint presentation of fat monkeys to help discuss diabetes in primates from an evolutionary medical perspective (hopefully!) and the conclusion will definitely be that monkeys shouldn’t eat doughnuts, or ice cream.

Anna Darron – Anna Darron is not a scientist.. but she does work at the Science Museum!
She’ll answer the burning questions you never knew you had: ‘Where can you charge your Mars Rover?’  ‘What is the true colour of Science?’ and ‘Can you do CPR in space? ‘

James Longstaff – Do you like cheese? What do you really know about it? James has been attempting to fill in some gaps in his knowledge and will be talking about “The Science of Cheese.”

The gig is at the Star of Kings, which is rapidly becoming our favourite small venue in London. The last four 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!

We have raised ticket prices this year to help get more cash into the hands of charities who need it. They’re now £6, but all of this money will still go to our chosen charity the Child Poverty Action Group.

Science Showoff Bristol 8 – Sept 18th. SIGNUP 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.

Eight 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.

SCIENCE SHOWOFF 6th September at the British Science Festival – LINEUP ANNOUNCED.


We’re coming back to Birmingham!

Do you like science? Do you like fun? Do you like to see people doing what they love and not worrying about whether it’s perfect? Our chaotic science cabaret is for you!

As part of the British Science Festival we’re rolling into town to host some of the best communicators of science the West Midlands has to offer, performing 9-minute sets about the things they love the most. Joining us for this amazing event will be:

Steve Cross – the Showoff MC bursts into a new season of gigs with loads of new science-y jokes and ridiculous adventures to talk about.

Toby Dignum – I’ll be doing a talk about my favourite number, the square root of two. It’s a story about a terrifying shape, Greek vegetarians, a murder, and my cat. WARNING: contains algebra!

Faraz Alam – The Funny side of the Flesh Eating Bacteria: Come with me on a voyage of discovery, to hear the many things I have learned through my research, such as the dangers of farting, when fellatio can turn dangerous and the strange things that can happen when you make bacteria glow in the dark.

Sarah Cosgriff – Are you a scientist who needs advice? Look no further – Sarah is an agony aunt for scientists.  She will be giving her straightforward advice, based on scientific research, to common problems she receives.

David Urry – Nothing explains the science of biological attraction better than country and western music, or the quirks of animal mating rituals like a low down and dirty blues lick – maybe! Either way, come listen to some toe tapping educational ‘classics’  like ‘Prairie Voles are Monogamous’ and ‘Dig a Hole Like a Mole Cricket’.

Francesca Day – Particle physics meets stand up comedy. We’re hunting for new particles, but what’s real and what’s just physics fan fiction?

Sarah Weldon – The Great British Viking Quest: Sunstones, Swords, and Science. In May 2015, Sarah will row the length of the River Thames, before heading out to sea along the same routes that the vikings rowed one thousand years ago. Did the vikings get seasick? How did they use a sunstone to navigate? Where did they find the metal to make their swords?

Jim Bell – Spider love or: how I learned to stop worrying and learned to love arachnids. A rationalisation of one man’s potentially unhealthy obsession with spiders.

Maia Elliott – Unhappy with the cards you were dealt at birth? Aren’t we all. But not for long! “Rigging the Genetic Lottery: A Beginner’s Guide” will show you how to overcome all your little DNA problems! It’s child’s play! (May require a complete change of lifestyle, cutting-edge DNA surgery and a massive lump of luck)

There’s a Facebook event here you can join and share with your friends:

And here’s where you can get tickets:

The gig is at the Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham. That’s here on Saturday September 6th. The gig is at 8.00pm sharp. Get there early!

Science Showoff at the Manchester Science Festival – SIGNUP TO PERFORM

Manchester is a really funny place. For a start they’re all obsessed with whinecore guitar-botherers My Chemical Romance. Secondly they have two football teams, BOTH OF THEM EVIL. Most big cities have one obviously good one and one evil one (Leeds only has an evil one, of course), but not Manchester.

But we love Manchester. It’s the best city in the UK on every scientific measure, and they’re brave enough to put us on at the weekend in a town that loves to party!

We’re coming back to MOSI, about to be under brilliant new management, for a night of scientific chaos and fun. Science Showoff is a night where ANYONE, can perform ANYTHING, in ANY STYLE, about ANY KIND OF SCIENCE. You might be a scientist, a teacher, a science communicator, a science fan, a comedian, an artist, a musician, a writer, a dancer, an actor, a raconteur or even Richard Dawkins himself (jokes, Dawkins is banned obvs) and we will give you time (9 minutes) on our stage to strut your stuff.

Now is your chance. Go to this website, put in your name and a short description of your set, click a box and YOU WILL BE PERFORMING.

The gig is Friday October 24th, and we’ll need you from about 6.30pm to about 10.00pm. Performers are not paid (not even the MC) as all ticket revenue will go to charity.

The gig will be hosted by Steve Cross. He is a nerd.



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!