Science Showoff in Guildford for the BSA Science Communication Conference – April 30th


This year the wonderful British Science Association are holding their annual Science Communication Conference in Guildford, at the University of Surrey, for the first time.

A Science Showoff the night before the conference is basically an institution, AND WHO ARE WE TO UNDERMINE AN INSTITUTION, EH?

On the evening of April 30th we will present a chaotic scientific cabaret like no other, open to everyone and suitable for anyone over 18. Joining our magnificent lineup will be:

Steve Cross – science comedian, troublemaker, compere and timekeeper. If you’re lucky he might even do a science demo. I say ‘do’. ‘Ruin’ might be more accurate.

Dom McDonald - ex-maestro of Science Oxford, and now Dom the Demo Don of the Royal Society of Chemistry. That may not be his actual job title.

Nicola Rolfe – photonics researcher at the University of Surrey and science fun sharer extraordinaire.

Jon Wood – outreach officer at the University of Birmingham and notorious blower-up of things.

Megan Whewell – PhD student at the Mullard Space Science Laboratories and expert in stars and planets and all that stuff that is BEYOND SPACE. Or rather, IN SPACE.

Simon Watt – zoology-fuelled science communication dynamo.

Daniel Richardson – experimental psychology researcher at UCL and interaction innovator.

Rowena Fletcher-Wood – zeolite researcher, spectroscopist and science storyteller.

Lewis Hou – Fiddler and Science Ceilidh producer. You read that right.

Alexandra Clifford – psychology lecturer at the University of Surrey and baby brain examiner.

The venue is the rather lovely Ivy Arts Centre on the University of Surrey’s Guildford campus. The doors will open at 7.00pm, with the gig kicking off at 7.30pm. It should finish at around 10pm. Tickets are £5 from this link: and all of this £5 will go to a lovely local charity, Disability Challengers, who help disabled children and young people in Guildford and Farnham.

All of this is only happening thanks to amazing work by the University of Surrey and the British Science Association. Buy them a drink if you see them!

Science Showoff curated by Holly Rogers – May 20th, Star of Kings


So far that’s two guest-curated Science Showoffs in London, and two complete sell-outs! Now join us for ten acts from the little black book of Holly Rogers, chair of the British Science Association’s London branch and organiser of events for the Academy of Medical Sciences. Holly has chosen ten of her favourite science acts, doing a mixture of talks, demos, jokes and messing about. Joining us for this gig will be:

Steve Cross – At the last gig Steve ruined Ladybird books forever and proved that heterosexual sex is impossible using science. He’s our MC and troublemaker and will be hosting the show.

Nate Adams – Nate is an research scientist at University of Sheffield and an engagement junkie. He’ll be talking about throwing spanners at nanobots, aka the dark art of enzymology, mutagenesis, formulas and lots of graphs – all to save the planet with sunshine. Without showing any formulas or graphs. Promise.

Lydia Wood – Are you smarter than a 16 year old physics student?  Now is your chance to prove it! Lydia will require a bit of audience participation from those who are keen to demonstrate their physics prowess. Prizes will be won!

Ben Dornan – Ben is presently engaged in road safety research but will, mercifully, be talking about something else. Specifically: how an audio illusion demonstrates that we don’t just perceive the world, we build it around us.

Chella Quint – Chella Quint of “Adventures in Menstruating” will introduce the #PeriodPositive project, and explain periods as if kids learned about them on Sesame Street.

Ben Still – Ben will talk about the importance of understanding the limits of our knowledge, because there might be a Nobel prize in it! Science is more about understanding the confidence we have in results than the results themselves. Sometimes questioning our true understanding can lead to finding new science beyond the horizon of the priginal research.

Chris McManus – Chris will be talking about several decades of researching why the testicles are asymmetrical in men. He takes equality seriously and hopes also to extend this research to women.

Aditi Singh – Aditi Singh Is a science/maths teacher at an Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties school in Peckham which makes her vacillate between frantic activity and needing to lie down. When not engaged as such, she can be found saying unhelpful things to people at Science London, whom she works with to communicate science to adults.

Lindsey Keith – I’ll be talking marathons and stumpy legs.

Rebecca Nesbit and David Urry – We’ll be covering entomaphagy: eating insects. Compared to livestock, insects need less water, less food and less space but, best if all, they’re delicious… David will be performing his entomophagy song ‘Stick it in your mouth’.

and the amazing Holly Rogers herself – Could pigeons help us avoid a self-inflicted apocalypse? Should you experiment on your children? I’ll be talking about the life and legacy of the psychologist BF Skinner.

The gig is in the basement of the Star of Kings. That’s here. Tickets are £5 (plus booking fee of 50p) from and your £5 will go to Shelter From the Storm, a homeless shelter near Kings Cross who receive no government funding. Do buy tickets in advance because we will probably sell out and it makes us sad to turn people away on the door.

Science Showoff Bridgwater 1, May 31st

I love the South-West of England. Well, except Dorset. Dorset’s rubbish. That’s why we’re bring chaotic scientific open-mic to Somerset, and are looking for ANYONE AT ALL to do ANY KIND OF PERFORMANCE about ANY KIND OF SCIENCE. Or is that too narrow a brief? ;-)

We have sadly had to cancel the gig in Bristol on May 22nd due to unforeseen circumstances BUT…

If you’d like to perform at Science Showoff at the FIRST-EVER BRIDGWATER SCIENCE FESTIVAL on May 31st the link for you is here:

Repeat performers and Showoff newbies are both very very welcome. The gig is 18+. No kids!

Do spread the word!

Science Showoff curated by Tom Whyntie – April 15th, Star of Kings


The season of chaotic science cabaret with guest curators has begun! We started in March with Elise Bramich’s lineup that explored the paranormal through stories, art, music, jokes and science. But now it’s April, and it’s time for our second curator, physicist Tom Whyntie, and his hand-selected team of Top Boffins to entertain you.

This gig is at the Star of Kings, which is here, just up the road from Kings Cross Station and the Guardian offices. We’ll be in the basement, and the doors will open at 7pm. The gig starts at 7.30 and will run through to about 10pm with an intermission. Tickets (all the money goes to charity) are available from the link at the top of the page. But what can we offer you on stage? How about:

Steve Cross – compere, comedian and a man who genuinely doesn’t want to know how magnets work because it will SPOIL THEM.

Rob Wells - Rob Wells is a comedian and data geek who will delve into the inner workings of the British Psyche through the power of Google search trends.

Lewis Dartnell – Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology research fellow at the University of Leicester, studying how we might detect life on Mars. But tonight he’ll be talking about something completely different: how to survive the apocalypse, avert another Dark Ages and accelerate the reboot of civilisation…

Dana Boebinger – Dana is a neuroscientist, flutist, and ailurophile who studies speech perception using big magnets.

Sam Martin – Big data, Twitter and your health explored.

Michael Willmott – “A Student Walks into a Library…” – A designer and engineer, i’m building Knodium ( and looking at how technology in education can tell us more about how people learn and communicate.

Colin Stuart – Astronomy presenter and co-author of the Big Questions in Science, Colin will be asking why we bother asking the biggest questions about our universe in the first place. It turns out peering into space can help us with real world problems down here on the ground too.

Megan Whewell – Astrophysicist at UCL and ex-Space Centre explainer.

Mun Keat Looi – Mun-Keat Looi is also an author of the Big Questions in Science, but also a Commissioning Editor for new science publication Mosaic. In a startling coincidence, he also helped organise a Big Questions campaign for Mosaic asking people what the most important question about life science had yet to answer. Through this double-barrel of Big Question experience he will attempt to deliver some form of insight into what a big question is and what happens when you ask people about it.

Chris Wickett and Gemma Hurley -Shut Up Infinity make heart-filled comedy films with a unique science-based skew – from their Ockham-award-winning advert selling skepticism as a miracle cure to their absurd, CERN-based sitcom The Theory Of Nothing. Tonight, though, Chris and Gemma will be showing Shoot For The Moon – the story of a homeless astronaut who sets out for the moon armed with nothing more that a travel case, a few bottle rockets and a trolley-load of ambition.

Magdalena Zarowiecki – Bioinformatician and evolutionary biologist, who spends most of her time trying to figure out stuff Nature has already figured out millions of years ago. She will be talking about how to make sense of very small pieces of a genome.

All your ticket money (except the booking fee) will be donated to the Play Association of Tower Hamlets, a charity that helps local children to play in safety.

Buy tickets quick. March sold out with a day to go and some people missed out!

LONDON SHOWOFF – April 8th, The Proud Archivist, Haggerston

And now for something new, different, exciting and special.

London Showoff is your favourite Showoff format (10 performers, 9 minutes each, chaos and no editorial control) applied to a totally new topic; London.

We’re organising this gig with the ultimate guide to all things metropolitan (Londonist) and with academic help from UCL. It’s at a new venue for us, The Proud Archivist, who have a really interesting mission around collecting London’s stories. But they also have a cracking selection of drinks and food. The nearest public transport is Haggerston Overground station, and the venue is by the Regent’s Canal.

We’re anticipating a lot of interest in this gig, so have put tickets on sale in advance here: All of the ticket money (except the booking fee) is being donated to the Shoreditch Trust who work to empower local communities to tackle local issues.

Here are the speakers and performers you’ll see on the night, telling stories and exploring London’s history, present, future and fictional life:

Steve Cross – compere, comedian and East London refuser.

Matt Brown – editor of Londonist and trivia collector.

Helen Zaltzman – broadcaster, podcaster and champion of Crystal Palace.

Mark Mason – traveller, writer and the man who has walked every tube line.

Fiona Jane Weston – singer, entertainer and musical history re-enacter.

Lucy Inglis – historian, novelist and Georgian explorer.

Gareth Rees – music fan, marsh wanderer and Hackney adventurer.

Sarah Bell – engineer, sewer historian and raconteur.

Ed Manley – data visualiser, mapper and comprehender of complex stuff.

Lucy Scott – writer, editor and promoter of the outdoors.

Nadia Valman – academic and London literary expert.

Doors are at 7pm, and the gig should finish at 10pm. The Proud Archivist does great food if you want to fill your belly before the gig starts.

See you on April 8th!

Science Showoff curated by Elise Bramich – March 18th, Star of Kings

Ticket link:

Science Showoff, the anarchic cabaret night where anyone can do anything about any kind of science, returns with a new twist. This is the first show where we have a guest curator (the incredible Elise Bramich) taking us into her little black book of performers for a supernatural evening of comedy, science, music, facts and performance.

Our new home is the basement of the Star of Kings because we think we can cause a lot more trouble underground without getting spotted by the po-faced science police.

Here’s the crack squad Elise has chosen to represent her:

Steve Cross – Science Showoff’s MC and “a super well-informed science troll” (Elise Bramich)

Bec Hill – Bec Hill’s acclaimed solo shows and hugely popular YouTube videos which have garnered over 100,000 views globally have gained her a cult status in both Australia and the UK, where she is now based. She also has a prolific Twitter presence, which led to her being named one of TimeOut’s Top 5 Funniest Comedians on Twitter next to the likes of Milton Jones and Steve Martin.

Eleanor Curry – Why you shouldn’t fall in love with a werewolf: A discussion of medieval love poetry using graphs.

Charlotte Young – Charlotte Young is an artist who makes work concerned with the blurring of fiction and reality, and the possibilities of what occupies the space in between, using video, text, installation and performance.

George Major – The unlikely story of Clifford Sidcup’s Project Sisyphus; how a red 1986 Peugeot 305 Estate exposed an international conspiracy to fake an unmanned mission to Mars

Sam Fletcher – An attempt of pseudo-scientific abilities – including graphology, telekinesis and divination.

Chris Boyd – Don’t breathe. Don’t look back. Look forward instead because Chris Boyd will be talking about extreme weather on the stage in front of you.

Elise Bramich (herself) – Choose Your Own Stephen King Adventure

Chris T-T – “One of the great underground artists of our time.” JON SNOW (Channel 4)

Plus three more incredible acts, one of which we are currently keeping secret!

The gig is on Tuesday March 18th. Doors are at 7pm, and the gig will start at 7.30 SHARP.

For this gig we’re anticipating quite a lot of attention (have you seen that flipping lineup!). Because the venue has a limited capacity we’re selling tickets rather than collecting on the door. Rest assured that all of your ticket money (except WeGotTickets’ fees) will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Tickets are available from: They will sell out. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Science Showoff Birmingham – 22nd February, REP STUDIO

In the West Midlands it’s Epic Encounters season, and we’re heading up to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre with an incredible variety of science-y folk for a night of chaotic cabaret.

You can buy tickets (£5/£3) and find out more here:

Joining us for this amazing night of space-themed material will be:

Steve Cross – your MC and veteran of Science Showoffs all over the UK. He has shiny glasses and a surprisingly low-brow sense of humour for a man with so much science in him.

Rowena Fletcher-Wood – I am going to be talking about the Vogon Theory – how Mossbauer Spectroscopy can help us work out if the threat of Vogons blowing up the earth is looming on the horizon.

Sarah Cosgriff – Would you mine a big ball of rock that is travelling fast in space? I will be talking about asteroid mining, a rather science-fiction sounding idea that could become reality.

One Thousand Ladder Theatre Company – Dennis Sold Me The Moon uses accapella close harmony singing of songs such as Bowie’s Space Oddity and Babylon Zoo’s Spaceman, poetic storytelling and playful shadow puppetry to tell the story of man’s journey to the Moon.

Flux Dance Theatre Company – Flux Dance Theatre are interested in what happens when art and science collide. See for yourself, through watching an except from their latest work, how dance performance can provide audiences with a fresh perspective on how we can view, learn and talk about science.

Jon Wood – “It IS Rocket Science” There are many ways to get this off the ground and I’m going to compare the elemental to the elements.

Chrissie Waddington – A brief history of the Rosetta probe, including: Rosetta awake again and the comet encounter in November. Why we want to land a probe on a comet.

Kristina Gavran – Have you ever followed a star? Do you believe in lucky stars? This is a story about such a common thing as falling in love with not so common characters as one boy who loves numbers and a girl who wants to travel the world.

Sophie Allan – Mars One and the Hazards of Mars colonisation: Will“Big Brother in Space” bring about a new era of commercialised exploration, the televised demise of foolhardy explorers or will it even get off the ground at all?

The gig starts at 7.45pm and you can find all the details of how to find us here: