About suzekundu

Materials nanochemist and science presenter

Brains Showoff, 2nd and 3rd March 2013, at the Barbican Weekender: Brain Waves

Like brains? Well you’re in luck, as the people behind Science Showoff have decided that it is time to get BRAINY!


Join us at the Barbican Centre at midday on the 2nd and 3rd of March for our first Brains Showoff as part of the Barbican Weekender: Brain Waves! We will be doing two shows over the Weekender; one on Saturday 2nd March and one on Sunday 3rd March, both at midday, both on the FreeStage at the Barbican, both of which are going to be EXCELLENT!


Both shows will be compered by Suze Kundu, who will be joining you on your journey of brain-based discovery. As she is no expert on brains herself, she will luckily be joined by some amazing performers across the two days that are brainy about brains!


On Saturday 2nd March our performers are:

Martin Coath – Have ever wondered what you would see if you looked at a thought through a microscope? We are going to turn the magnification up, and up, and up, until …  Well OK, we don’t have a brain, or a microscope, but we do have people, and together we can devise a 9 minute piece of performance art entitled “I Think, Therefore I Make a Mess With Confetti”.

Ginny Smith – Are you paying attention? Ginny Smith will show you that you may not
notice as much of what goes on around you as you think you do.

Matt Wall – I will be talking about the very early history of studying brain activity in humans, and comparing it with modern techniques. I will also be attempting to measure the brain activity of a volunteer live on stage, using items you can probably find in your kitchen.

Nicole Slavin – How do you solve a problem like aphasia? Find out what Robbie Coltrane, Whoopie Goldberg, Julie Andrews and stroke patients from Essex have in common and why learning from brain damage can still trump high tech.

And on Sunday 3rd March we are joined by:

Keir Shiels – I’ll be talking about hardwiring / softwiring of the visual system, including the neuropsychology of Stroop, Thatcher and synaesthesia.

Liam Hogan – If American politicians could predict the future of scientific research into brains, what would the mice talk about? A short, and admittedly not particular scientific, story.

Lizzie Crouch – I’ll be talking about the hidden maps in your brain, and demonstrating these using some very lucky audience members!

Oliver Meech – Magic meets Neuropsychology, aka The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Top Hat. I’ll illustrate bizarre neurological conditions using cunningly concealed magical methods.


Entry to the gig is free, and the shows will last an hour each. There are lots of other events going on over the weekend at the Barbican, so come along, bring your friends and families, learn some interesting facts, see some amazing demonstrations, and definitely come and say hello!




Science Showoff 2.5 SIGN UP NOW OPEN!

With less than a week to go until our first gig of the New Year with, lets face it, a mind-blowing line up (and me), our attentions have turned to how on Earth we are going to beat this in February!

The good news is that we have you lovely lot. I am very excited to announce that SIGN UP FOR OUR FEBRUARY GIG IS NOW OPEN! If you want to share any aspect of science or engineering with us on Tuesday 5th February, what are you waiting for?! Click on the link below, and if there are any spaces left, grab one to perform at Science Showoff 2.5! Then give us a little teaser of the set you have in mind, and we will do the rest.

Apart from writing your set and performing it for you. That’s all down to you, but you love it, and we love you for it!

Sign up here!

The gig will be at 7pm on Tuesday 5th February at the Wilmington Arms, so even if you are not planning on performing, don’t forget to put the date in your diaries.

If you have any queries, do give us a shout on Twitter or drop me an email at suze @ scienceshowoff.org. And don’t forget to come and see us on Tuesday 15th January for science, entertainment, interesting pub quiz facts and a lovely bar selection at Science Showoff 2.4!

There is another bit of exciting news coming, but I am sworn to secrecy for now. All I will say is keep an eye out on The Showoff Family Blog, home of the famous Showoff Advent Calendar With An Inconsistent Name, over the next few days for more details!


Science Showoff 2.4, 15th January 2013 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Almost, anyway. Yes, it looks like we survived the apocalypse predicted by the Mayans, which is lucky as I have to collect some dry cleaning tomorrow that I have already paid for…

New Year, same brilliant Science Showoff! The International Journal of Obesity conducted a small study that showed that laughter is a great way to burn away some calories, so if you, like me, have been overindulging over the festive period, it’s time to giggle away your mulled wine and mince pies, donate to a charity, and maybe discover some interesting science facts in the process.

On 15th January 2013 at 7pm, we will be back at the Wilmington Arms with an excellent line up of brand new Showoffs, including:

Carmen Ali – Biology and feminism with interactive comedy – will be discussing humour and gender, sexual equality, and whether names are important. Expect jokes and new perspectives!

Jane Robb – I will be taking the audience on an imaginary tour of the video gaming world of Skyrim (The Elder Scrolls V) showing what I think would be a cool story for the geology of the province.

Louise Hughes – The science and art of microscopy and the miniature life it reveals can be facinating and beautiful at the same time. I will take you on an exploration of these micro worlds, populated by beautiful and amazing monsters.

Sarah Cosgriff – I will be telling a story of Henrietta Lacks, an ordinary woman who changed the world. She has allowed us to make great advances in biomedical research and has even been to space.

Suzanne Harvey – What do men, spider monkeys and wolley monkeys have in common? Hint: it’s all about penises. I’ll be explaining why the study of penile anatomy is in fact all about women…

Hannah Fry – Think you’re not just another sheep? No chance. Let me take you on a nine minute tour of just how foolishly predictable silly humans can be.

Carmen D’Cruz – How to get admin girls interested in science! An illustrated guide.

Rosie Wilby – I will present an excerpt of my sellout show The Science Of Sex investigating sexual attraction, the history of sex research, what makes us gay or straight and more… with spoof experiments and handmade props and diagrams.

Dido Green – ‘The Magic of Movement’ – Integrating Magic Hand tricks into intensive motor therapy, alongside neuroimaging and neurophysicology protocols for children with hemiplegia, is providing important insights into how children acquire bimanual skills, and transform into young magicians.


ME! – Inspired by my inexplicable invitation to be part of the Royal Institution’s online advent calendar where loads of famous people and I shared our favourite elements with the world, I’ll be further justifying why I think mine is better than yours, and chemistry is better than everything.

As always, entry to our gig is free however we will be collecting for a charity on the night. This month, we have chosen a charity that one of our Science Showoff alumni, and total superstar, Farrah Nazir volunteered at last year; Namaste Children’s Homes Nepal. A little money goes such a long way for those kids, as she saw first hand when she travelled out there. We suggest a donation of £5, however anything that you can give, whether more or less, will make a huge difference to this small charity. I know that January is a tough month – I too have spent a fortune on presents – so how about you get a tenner out right now, hide it behind your Nectar card (you won’t need that now anyway, all the turkys have sold out!), and forget about it until 15th January. That way, you can donate a fiver and have at least a pint and a half to reward yourselves for making it through the first two weeks of January unscathed.


See you in the new year, and thank you all for being a hugely important part of Science Showoff in 2012. We love you all x

Science Showoff 2.3, 4th December 2012 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

What a wonderful couple of months we have had since our last Wilmington Arms gig back in October! We popped up to Oxford for our first Showoff there, we helped organise a Science Arts Cabaret night at One KX for the Bloomsbury Festival, we had another amazing, packed-out Museums Showoff, held our first Geek Showoff, and had a whole load of you over for our #MASSIVESHOWOFF gig at London’s beautiful Bloomsbury Theatre, where the lovely Steve Cross had more costume changes than Kylie and Beyonce put together! Thanks to our gorgeous audiences, we are on target to beat the 2011/2012 total for money raised for charity.

On Tuesday 4th December we return to our regular home, the wonderful Wilmington Arms. Doors open at 7pm, so come down early to make sure you grab a beer and a seat before the gig starts! Warming you up for Christmas / Winterval / Saturnalia / Annual Food Fest / other politically-correct-and-culturally-diverse-but-a-little-less-sparkly seasonal celebration, we have an incredible line up of performers, including…

Steve Cross: Santa’s cutest little helper will be compering, showing off his latest T shirt purchases, being funny and ensuring that our night runs as smoothly as nomzy Nutella

Andrew Pontzen: Andrew will be trying out a number N of new songs. N will be somewhere between one and two (inclusive)

Lindsay Keith: WOMEN KNOW YOUR PLACE! Lindsay (possibly with some assistance from her alter ego Ophelia Bottom) will be waxing lyrical about the role of women in science

Simon Foster: Killing you with Pikachu; I’ll be sharing some accidental science disasters

Jakob Whitfield: Using string, cardboard, and other props, I will take a whistlestop tour through aeronautical history, explaining how aeroplanes got their shape. In particular, I will attempt to explain why flying objects get pointier as they get faster – until they don’t

Andy Beale: In a dark, dark jungle there’s a dark, dark cave and in the dark, dark cave some see-through fish with no eyes live. I’ll be telling you how and why this came to be, and why these fish are more interesting than you think

Marc Jones: The tuatara is often incorrectly said to be a “living fossil” possessing three eyes and no teeth. We will uncover the truth and examine its very specialised teeth and jaws used to dismember prey

Stuart Higgins: Science vs. Scientists! In the red corner, weighing in at an incredible, dimensionally and factually incorrect. 13.75 billion light years is Science, the Universe, and everything! In the blue corner, weighing up the prospects of love and life outside the lab are the Scientists! Let’s Get Ready To Rumble

Tom Manly: Cognitive neuroscientist Tom Manly will demonstrate that your sense of self is a fragile illusion using only a brush and a winning smile

Rachel Freeman: A research engineer at the University of Bristol, Rachel will talk about all things energy-demand related. Her set includes orgasmic kettles and plasma screen breeding, and explains what the connection is between what we humans do and what our climate does, why jellyfish could be the internet infrastructure of the future, and how the obesity epidemic could be solved. And it’s funny too

Jon London: Jon London is a schools science communicator, and probably the only man you’ve ever met fully insured to bring gunpowder into Primary Schools.  This is the story of some of the… odder things TV production companies have asked him to build, including a blowtorch powered by sugar

…and also possibly including Suze in a Santa hat – well, it is almost Christmas. And let’s face it, any excuse will do.

As always, entry to our gigs is free, and we will be collecting for a local charity. Our chosen charity for this month is SHP, the charity for homeless and vulnerable people in London. We suggest a donation of £5, but higher donations get hugs and Christmas treats for being on the right side of Science Showoff’s Good-And-Naughty List.


Science Showoff Oxford, 4th October 2012 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

As Vampire Weekend famously sang, who gives a f**k about an Oxford Comma when you have an Oxford Science Showoff to get excited about?! What do you mean, you haven’t heard that version? It was a studio demo, from before they became famous…

We will be bringing Science Showoff to Oxford for the first time on Thursday 4th October! Join us from 7pm at Science Oxford for science-based entertainment covering topics from the engineering of spiders webs to how the tiniest of structures can be amazing when viewed at high magnitide.

On the line up tonight, we have:

Steve Cross: All the way from that there London, Steve will be our compere for the night which, if previous gigs are to go by, will involve bullying chemists for giggles!

Jonathan Wood: Disgust at walking through one too many spider webs (a pet hate) has motivated me to find out more. I discover that spiders are scarily good engineers, all just in time for Halloween.

Thaddius Aid: I will be talking about how we can use phylogenetic trees to find out what parts of the human genome are under selective pressure.

Louise Hughes: Description of the set: Zooming into what life looks like under the electron microscope. A series of images and movies will be shown to demonstrate the amazing minature structures all around us.

Gregory Akerman:  I will be talking about a three year research project, attempting to discover exactly how ants communicate has been started by researchers at the university of york. childrens supposed, pre-defined adaptability to Wittgenstein’s ‘language game’ will to pitted against a 1000 strong colony of ants to see – in communicative terms – who kicks whose arse.

Alex Brown: Metaphorically thinking: how the words you know affect the way you think. From 1984 to indeterminate Spanish fruit, Alex Brown takes us on a round-the-world linguistic tour of the way scientific ideas themselves are expressed. Warning: may include fluffy pens.

Mark Lewney: A Queen-based Tribute to Various Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics”, for guitar, voice and Powerpoint pedal. You have never heard a Queen song this nerdy since they dropped Brian May’s “Ode to Zodiacal Dust Clouds” from the first album.

Anne Osterrieder: I will be sharing a rock song about mitochondria and possibly a short movie about a caterpillar virus.

Brian Macken: I’ll be representing our wonderful venue tonight, Science Oxford!

PLUS sets from the lovely Sarah Cosgriff and the legend that is Dominic McDonald!

As always, entry to the gig is free, but we will be collecting for the Oxford Food Bank. We suggest a donation of £5, but if you are able to donate any more, it would be greatly appreciated.

See you at Science Oxford (map *here!*), at 7pm, on Thursday 4th October!

Science Showoff 2.2, 2nd October – LINE UP ANNOUNCED


What a brilliant first gig back we had in September. Thanks to some brilliant acts, and a very generous, and may I say rather sexy, audience, we managed to raise £460 for the Snowflake School. You all deserve a gold star, and I owe you all a hug.

Feeling left out of the ocean of oxytocin that is Science Showoff? Never fear, for we are back at the Wilmington Arms at 7pm on Tuesday 2nd October for our second gig of the season!

Blinding you with science tonight, we have:

Steve Cross: Sophisticated and charming, semi-chemist (on his Dad’s side – true fact), superstar compere, Steve Cross will be telling jokes about science and scientists, and introducing all of our acts in his own inimitable way

Simon Watt: An introduction to the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. Comedy with a conservation twist.

Ellie Taylor: Ahead of the much anticipated UGLY ANIMAL PRESERVATION SOCIETY comedy night happening in London on the 21 October (plug), stand-up comedian Ellie Taylor will be championing the cause of one of the least appealing members of the animal kingdom and explaining why this ugly f*cker needs your help. NB this is not a covert fundraising effort on behalf of the Rooney family.

Alex Brown: Metaphorically thinking: how the words you know affect the way you think. From telling the difference between left and right, to teaching kids about bats, the very way we perceive the world depends on the words we know. Warning: may include Schadenfreude.

Ella Murray: I will be explaining why venn diagrams are good for sexual harassment, why penis bones mess up evolution and why science outreach in schools are a headache. Also expect random inappropriate stories about scientists and a round-up of the ungodly news. If there is time, if you are good and if I think it won’t come back to haunt me I may do chimp comedy.

Harry Cliff: I’ll be wondering why the Large Hadron Collider is so, well, large and trying to shed some light on all that Higgs boson business. Hopefully while raising a few laughs. If that doesn’t work, I may just tell some jokes about bottoms.

Robert Thompson: 6 degrees of Science, The Kevin bacon game for anyone or anything that can be vaguely described as scientific. We’ll be testing out the concept of a new podcast being produced at UCL but as a live stage version … Things to be expected, audience participation amazement, suspense and a presenter who may well be out of his depth

Action Science Theatre: Action Science Theatre produces new, original, free audio drama every month in the unaccountably ignored genre of ‘Action Science’ – so far we’ve had mathematical cultists, blood typing evil villains, paleontological assassins and zombies on a train, and we’re recording a LIVE short episode at Science Showoff. For more on us, see actionsciencetheatre.com

Rory Fenton: I’ll be talking about the exciting possibility of building a tiny machine run on quantum mechanics which, as nano tech gets nano-er, could well happen soon.

Julie Gould: A swimming lesson without water! I plan to teach you all how to become excellent butterfly swimmers that could take on Michael Phelps, without getting wet.


Rhys Phillips: I’ll be talking about the maths behind Scouting For Girls* (*other boybands are available)

Entry to the gig is free, however as always we will be collecting money for our chosen local charity of the month, the Islington Arts Factory, who make dance, art and music accessible to everyone. We suggest a donation of £5, however higher donations get a huge round of applause from myself and Oli. I am tiny, and Oli is tall, which creates an interesting acoustic of constructive and destructive sound waves, and is highly recommended. Highly recommended by Oli and I, anyway…


See you there!

Science Showoff Bristol 2, 25th September 2012 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Bristolians, let us entertain you!

On Tuesday 25th September 2012 at 7pm join us on the beautiful Grain Barge for science-based fun and frolics ON A BOAT. On our brilliant line-up tonight, we have:

Suzi Gage: I am going to lead the congregation in a ‘slightly edited’ hymn, and share my musings on neurophilosophy.

Karl Byrne: I’ll be combining my love of science with my love of comics to talk about some of the real world science behind a few superheroes. Warning: May contain bondage and lubricant…

Martin Coath: As a starter (or possibly an “amuse bouche”) I am going to rescue the reputation of two scientists that nobody has ever heard of – there are lots to choose from I haven’t decided which ones yet.  For the main course I will be picking on my fellow neuroscientists in a frenzy of career-ruining invective, or maybe I might just be mildly critical depending on how much I have had to drink.

Collective Complexity: We’ll be making what can loosely be described as music, and visualising the soundwaves in various different ways 🙂

Ross Exton: I’m going to be talking about the chemistry of poisons whilst telling stories of gruesome murders and assassinations

James Keasley: How to make your own monster, it’s fun and anyone can do it! Talking about cryptozoology from a pretty sceptical point of view, about a successful Monster Hoax.

Beth Atkinson: I’ll be talking about the strange people and situations (scorned women, frozen otters…) I encounter when trying to do ecology.

Wolfington: “Lo-fi and pervy” zombie folk music from Bristol based physics geeks; highlights include rhyming the words ‘bras’ and ‘quasars’, and music from their upcoming Tesla concept album. A peer reviewed version of Spinal Tap.

As always, the gig will be held together by our superstar compere Steve Cross, who will be making us laugh and offending chemists in his own special way.

All this and more, including HUGS FROM ME! Entry to the gig is free, however we will be collecting for our chosen charity for the gig, Caring at Christmas in Bristol. We suggest a donation of £5, however higher donations get a personalised cheerlead from Suzi and I. I should probably tell Suzi this…