What is Science Showoff?!?

What is Science Showoff?

It’s a chaotic open mic night for scientists, science communicators, science teachers, historians and philosophers of science, students, science popularisers and anyone else with something to show off about science.

When and where does it happen?

At least once a month in London, and also all over the country, usually starting at 7pm. The first gig was on October 4th, 2011.

How does it work?

For each gig we publish an online sign-up sheet. The first 7 people to sign up are guaranteed slots of up to 9 minutes on the night to do whatever they like as long as it has a science flavour. The organisers hold three slots for invited guests. There are two ‘waiting list slots’ available on the online booking sheet in case one of the first 7 backs out, gets sick or is otherwise ruled out. Usually no-one is allowed to book two slots in any three month period, and there are variations on this rule for gigs in cities where we don’t perform every month.

What happens on the night?

We start at 7.30, with an introduction from compere Steve Cross, and the night runs in two halves, each an hour long. The signed-up performers take to the stage to show off their science. They might:

Show a film they just made
Try out a new demo
Practice a new science comedy set
Tell us about their new discovery
Perform an 9-minute play about science
Play their new song about protons
Tell us what they’ve been up to
Predict the future
Give us a taster of their science-themed Edinburgh show
Read us their latest science poem
Try out a bit of a new science lesson on us
Play us a short radio documentary
Experiment on the crowd
Read us a blogpost
Perform an interpretive dance about science

Or anything else…

Every set lasts 9 minutes or less. There’s a 20 minute intermission and we finish by 10pm, to give us an hour of picking each other’s brains over beer and to form new plans and partnerships before closing time.

Is there money involved?

No-one gets paid. There is a collection bucket, and we suggest a donation of £5 from everyone who comes along (audience and performers alike). All proceeds go to a charity, chosen for that month’s gig. In our first year we raised £5000 for a collection of charities. In our second year (Sept 2012-Aug 2013) we raised £12 000.

I want you to come to my town / organise a gig with my conference

Brilliant. We’d love to. We’ve gigged at the Manchester Science Festival, The Green Man Festival, with the British Science Association Science Communication Conference, SpotOn London and loads more!

We’ll need you to find someone who will pay for our trainfares and hotels, though. Email us to find out more.

Recent Posts

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

TICKET LINK: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/feps/news/events/faculty/121943_science_showoff_tickets.htm

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.

John 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.

Flux Dance Theatre company – dancers developing new ways that art can explore physics

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: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/feps/news/events/faculty/121943_science_showoff_tickets.htm 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!

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