Mega-gig on February 5th, more about our performers

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We’re getting very, very excited about February 5th. Fancy finding out a bit more about the acts who will be amazing you at the Bloomsbury Theatre? We’ve put together a compendium of a new videos of some of the science stars, to show you the type of top, top talent we have in store for you.

You all know our MC, Steve Cross. He’s a “super well-informed science troll” according to a TV person, and here’s a chance to see him making up science as he goes along. Look out for the best cosmic microwave radiation joke you’ll see this year:

Prof. Sophie Scott is our neuroscientist for the evening (you have to have one at EVERY science event, you know). She knows everything about laughter and emotion and the brain. And beatboxing. She knows far too much about beatboxing. :

Dr. Hannah Fry makes maths exciting and relevant. I know, I’m not sure I thought that was possible either. In this video she’ll help you find your perfect partner:

Zoe Laughlin makes solid stuff sing, she makes materials magic and she makes matter matter. In this TedX talk she shows you how materials can perform:

This is just a taste – there are seven other amazing acts for you as well! See them all and buy tickets here:

Science Showoff Bristol, 23rd January – LINEUP ANNOUNCED

It’s 2014!! Thank God (or Dawkins if you’re an atheist) that 2013 is over. Everything is going to be OK now. 2013 was rubbish.

One of the few highlights of 2013 was bringing our unique brand of science cabaret, stuffed full of jokes, music, education, chaos and swearing to the beautiful audiences of Bristol. So we’re back for more, with 5 gigs in 2014!

Do come along for a free night of space, nature, chemistry, particles and jokes about Naked Mole Rats. We bring together loads of brilliant local acts, with a new lineup and new material at every single gig.

So who is performing this time?

Your inevitable MC will be Steve Cross – bespectacled man of science and comedy, with more nerdy t-shirts than anyone on Earth wants or needs.

Tania Hershman - I will be reading an entirely fictional short story inspired by spending a year observing biochemists in their natural habit, and involving stolen vocabulary, dancing and elderly Nobel Prize-winners.

Nerys Shah - Talking about why I love maths and introducing people to the Monty Hall problem. There may even be a chance to win a car* *Not a real car.

Audrey Nailor - I will present “How to Unfriend A Scientist.” Need to boot a scientist from your friendslist or successfully avoid them in the wild? Or are you worried that your scientist friends secretly hate you? I present a highly scientific list of silver bullets against scientists.

Guy Lochhead - Dinosaurs Ruined My Teaching Career: Kids are clearly stupid, so how should we teach them science? I’ll be presenting the problems I’ve had trying to communicate scale to primary school children.

Aaron Boardley - What do Baroque music, groovy artwork, tortoises and hares have to do with the big questions of mathematics? Introducing the work of Douglas Hofstadter with references to films that didn’t even exist when his Pulitzer Prize-winning book was published, Aaron will end his whistlestop tour on all things ‘meta’ by highlighting the significance of Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

Will Davies - Have you ever woken in the morning, soft light streaming through the curtains, laying beside your partner, and rolled over to feel their warm embrace only to be subjected to a smell that seems to have come from a chimney straight to Satans outhouse? What the fuck, right?

Natasha Watson – Natasha will be telling you the story of the three little pigs… with a twist: building houses from sticks and straw isn’t too bad after all.

Karl Byrne - I’m going to be talking about faecal transplantation. Why, oh why would anyone want to transplant poo??

and more tbc

The gig is at the incredible Grain Barge (that link goes to their website with map and stuff). Doors will open at 7.30pm. Entry is FREE but we will be collecting for charity on the door and strongly suggest a donation of £5. All the money will go to one25, a charity based and working in Bristol who support women trapped in street sex-work to start new lives.

Science Showoff Bristol is brought to you by a team that includes the wonderful Ross Exton, Audrey Nailor, Becky Brooks and Maddy Foard. Respect.

Science Showoff London – Guest Curators in 2014

Hi London, how have you been?

First of all, go and get a ticket for our massive gig at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London of February 5th: . Once you’ve done that, come back and read the rest of this.

It’s time to announce some London gigs for 2014 with a new twist. We’re borrowing a trick from the ATP Festivals and working with guest curators to bring their favourite acts to our stage. The side-effect of this is that we also get to troll Museums Showoff who will get upset about the appropriation of the word ‘curators’.

All of these gigs will be in the basement of the Star of Kings on York Way. That’s next to the canal, two doors from King’s Place and opposite the new University of the Arts London building. You can’t sign up to perform – the guest curators will invite 10 acts each to make-up a line-up, alongside our relentless compere Steve Cross. This way we all get a little peek into their visions of science communication and their little black books.

The gigs are:

March 18th – curated by Elise Bramich, the person behind the scenes of lots of your favourite science and maths TV.

April 15th – curated by Tom Whyntie, superman of physics, the man who takes CERN into schools, satirist and raconteur.

May 20th – curated by Holly Rogers, events guru for the Academy of Medical Sciences, Science London and a Science Brainwaves grandee.

June 17th – curated by Imran Khan, King of the British Science Association and owner of the most powerful beard in science communication.

We’ll be adding at least one more date and one more guest curator for July.

Nearer the time we’ll release details of the lineups, and the charities that the guest curators have chosen for all your donations to go to. We’re incredibly excited and look forward to seeing you in our new London home.

Hoorah! And Happy New Year!

Science Showoff Birmingham, Feb 22nd, SIGN UP TO PERFORM

Well, hello Birmingham. 

How are you? I don’t think we’ve met before. We know lots of your friends though, like Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh. Even Bristol. They all say lovely things about you and I’m so glad to finally make your acquaintance.

What do we do? Well, we’re a chaotic cabaret night with a science theme. We get 10 of the most interesting science-y people from your area together, then put them on stage one after another to entertain a lovely crowd with demonstrations, talking, jokes, music, video, dance… Whatever they like, really. In-between them all a weird man in glasses tells jokes about science.

Are you a science-y person? That’s fantastic news. We like all sorts, from scientists, to teachers, to journalists, to students, to artists, to poets, to singer-songwriters, and anyone else at all. We’d love to have you up on stage being brilliant about science. Are you up for that?

We’re coming to town on the evening of Saturday February 22nd to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, to do a special gig about Space as part of their Brecht Festival, Epic Encounters. If you’re based anywhere in the Midlands and have something to show off about any aspect of space do sign up. It’ll be amazing.

Where do you sign up to perform? Right here:

Now you must excuse me, I have to go and see what London wants. It’s being all loud and difficult over in the corner.

Science Showoff BRISTOL 5 SIGN UP NOW, Jan 23rd, Grain Barge,

It’s a new year (well, it will be a new year by the time that this gig happens. As I write this, it’s 2013. Poxy 2013. I wish it was 2014 and I was doing a gig in lovely Bristol).

ANYWAY IT’S A NEW YEAR and things are getting exciting down in the South-West. 

1. We’re coming back to do another amazing chaotic science gig with you. It’ll be on the evening of January 23rd on the Grain Barge at Hotwells in the River Bristol (the river in Bristol is the River Bristol, right?) .

You should sign up to perform. We have the nicest crowd IN THE WORLD so this is the place to try out something new and science-y, even if you haven’t been on stage before. You could talk, tell jokes, demonstrate, sing songs, show a video, stage a short play or indeed anything at all about any kind of science. Sign up here:

We’re looking for scientists, science teachers, science fans, science communicators, historians and philosophers of science, musicians, science comedians, designers, tech geniuses, engineers, students, mathematicians, medics. And even just science fans. Everyone has something amazing about science to share, surely.

Want to know what the gigs are like? They feel like a comedy gig mixed with a Royal Institution lecture mixed with a party mixed with a science lesson. They’re like being in a great science centre, drunk. They’re super-friendly, and every act we’ve ever had has been very well-received. We’d love to have you.

2. We now have an amazing team of local talent helping out with  gigs in Bristol. These are the people who will talk you into donating money to charity, help you decide to perform and generally make the whole thing brilliant and marvellous. They are Audrey Nailor, Ross Exton, Becky Brooks and Maddy Foard. Say hi! They all own Science Showoff t-shirts. Help run a gig in your home town and you might get one too.

Science Showoff at the Bloomsbury Theatre! 05/02/14


Do you like science?

Do you like fun?

Do you like entertainment, jokes, demos, music and general mucking about, but with science, in a cabaret kind of style?

How would you like to see 10 of London’s most amazing science and engineering communicators on one stage with a totally over-excited compere?

On February 5th 2014 we’re heading to the Bloomsbury Theatre for our third gig at the best science entertainment venue in London. The gig will start at 7.30pm and these are some of the amazing acts from across UCL who will be impressing and astounding you:

Dr Hannah Fry – Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Prof Sophie Scott – Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Dr Zoe Laughlin – Institute of Making

Ella Murray – Department of Anthropology

Carla Washbourne – Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Prof Clare Elwell – Department of Medical Physics

Dr Jennifer Bizley – Ear Institute

Dr Sarah Bell – Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Dr Monika Böhm – Institute of Zoology

And MCing this list of astounding brains will be Dr Steve Cross, science comedian, geek, glasses-wearer and UCL’s Head of Public Engagement.

Tickets for the gig are £10 from and all the proceeds are going to a local charity, The Camden LGBT Forum.

This event is part of UCL Equalities and Diversity Month.

This gig is suitable for people over 16 years old.

Science Showoff Liverpool, Tues Dec 3rd. LINEUP ANNOUNCED.

Hi Liverpool!

Tuesday December 3rd. FACT. Doors 7pm. We’re bring science chaos to you.

So, we finally made it over to Manchester last month and we figured that you might get jealous. And quite right too. After all, you’re just as good as them. Your football clubs may have less money, but they have more meaningful trophies in their cabinets. You might not have produced Joy Division, The Stone Roses and the Smiths, but you produced at least three totally different-sounding bands called The Beatles and Cast as well. Hmm. Maybe let’s not dwell on that.

And now you get your own Science Showoff, this time in partnership with the British Society for Immunology. Come and join us for a night of chaotic open mic-style entertainment with a scientific theme and meet our incredible acts from the local area and wider afield.

The gig is at FACT and will be free to get in (but we will be trying to get you to donate money to our charity for the night, Yellow House, and we suggest donating a fiver).

We aim to get you to laugh, learn, be astounded and feel amazing. And to get you there this time we’ve got these brilliant science people:

Steve Cross – your MC for the evening, and a comedian who knows more about Naked Mole Rats than anyone you know (unless you know an actual naked mole rat expert).

Holly Rogers - Megashark vs Giant Octopus is clearly cinematic genius – but what makes a shark so mega, and do giant octopi really exist? I’ll be looking at the science behind one of the greatest films of the 21st century, probably with a bit of shouting and audience participation.

Mark Coles - Embarrassing bugs and our immune system: tales from the frontiers of immunology .In this comedy sketch I will tell tales from my 20 years in the lab and introduce a few of my more embarrassing friends and scientific bloopers.  Who said working in a lab has to be boring?

Alison Atkin - I see dead people; how I plan to become champion of the most messed-up game of hide and seek ever.

Tom Bishop - I’ll be shedding some light on the evolution of sociality by looking at the diversity of life on Earth from the perspective of ants, time travelling protists, self-sacrificing humans and maybe even Martians.

Dan Davis will present his new book The Compatibility Gene, a global journey of discovery spanning 60 years, involving scores of scientists, and encompassing the history of transplants and immunology – revealing astonishing links between who we are as individuals and our never-ceasing struggle to survive disease. ‘Lab work has rarely been made to seem more interesting or heroic.’ –Bill Bryson, Guardian Books of the Year 2013

Dave Steele - Dave will use comedy and science (scimedy?) to finally answer that age-old question: Which is better; pandas or koalas? (It’s koalas.)

Theo Sanders – I’ll be performing two songs that I wrote which were inspired by my life in science. One tackles the highs and lows associated with (a lack of) scientific achievement, whilst the second gives a serious overview of effector T cell subsets that makes a questionable amounts of sense.

Mark Purver - Pluto: planet? Dwarf planet? Cartoon dog?! I’ll take a look at how Pluto made astronomers realise that they didn’t know what a planet was.

Do join us for an amazing night of science and nonsense. And sense. And non-science.