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


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: http://doodle.com/36tsuag5dgat9bmg

The gig is going to be at the Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham. That’s here http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/bramall/hire/index.aspx 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.

  1. Science Showoff Bristol 7, July 17th – LINEUP ANNOUNCED Leave a reply
  2. Science Showoff Bristol 7, July 17th – SIGNUP NOW TO PERFORM Leave a reply
  3. Animal Showoff – July 8th, UCL Grant Museum Leave a reply
  4. Science Showoff at the Royal Society – June 30th Leave a reply
  5. Science Showoff curated by Imran Khan – June 17th, Star of Kings Leave a reply
  6. Science Showoff at the Bridgwater Science Festival – Saturday May 31st Leave a reply
  7. Science Showoff in Guildford for the BSA Science Communication Conference – April 30th Leave a reply
  8. Science Showoff curated by Holly Rogers – May 20th, Star of Kings Leave a reply
  9. Science Showoff Bridgwater 1, May 31st Leave a reply