SCIENCE SHOWOFF BRISTOL 11 – May 21st, The Hatchet Inn


Avast there me hearties! The brave sailors of Science Showoff are back in town, and this time we’ve left the water behind for a new home, safe above the imminent flooding caused by successive governments’ failure to take climate change seriously due to lobbying by big oil companies.

Other than that, we’re good. You’ll get to see the usual mixture of weird and wonderful, brainy and bonkers as each of our acts gets nine minutes to do ANYTHING AT ALL about science.

Tonight we’re joined by:

Steve Cross – MC, science comedian, troublemaker.

Fraeya Whiffin – How to commit genocide and get away with it.

Matt Camilleri – A journey from Light to Fuel

Will Davies – Lies My Mother Told. Turns out clicking joints and arthritis are not so causally linked after all. What other ‘facts’ have we all been conned ino believing?

Vicky Miller – The awesome power of mutations

Scary Boots (may be a pseudonym) – ‘Everything you know about diamonds is wrong’ – how the world’s most expensive gemstone isn’t expensive, rare, sparkly, or friendly.

Jemma Rowlandson – How to save the world with Leerdammer cheese.

Ezzy Pearson – The psychology of conspiracy theories, though there is a large chance it will just turn into me shouting at Moon Landing deniers for 9 minutes


The gig is at The Hatchet Inn (NOT THE GRAIN BARGE WE HAVE MOVED) 27 Frogmore Street, Avon, Bristol BS1 5NA on Thursday May 21st. Doors open 7pm.

Tickets are £5 plus booking fee from: and all of the £5 will go to charity.

SCIENCE SHOWOFF engineering special – May 19th, Star of Kings London


Let’s be honest; Science is rubbish. Science is all like “Oh we found that the error bars of previous estimates of the heritability of that trait are unlikely to be statistically accurate to the degree of freedom presumed by previous authors”.

But Engineering is all like “I’m sorry I can’t hear you because I’m listening to Erik B and Rakim on an mp3 player the size of a hazelnut that I just made while building a bridge to the moon. YOU’RE WELCOME.

And that’s why we’ve asked Oliver Broadbent, the greatest civil engineer London has to offer, to curate a lineup of amazing engineering talent to entertain us for a night. He’s also chosen Engage for Development as the charity to whom we’ll give all your ticket money.

Join us for a night of chaotic engineering-themed cabaret, with talks, jokes, music, demos and everything else you’ve ever wanted to know about the subject that saves lives (and takes them away, weapons research people am I right?). You’ll see:

Steve Cross – not an engineer. Not a scientist. Barely human. Compere, joke-teller and trouble-maker.

Oliver Broadbent – The man who makes concrete sexy again.

Alistair Lenczner – A designer who has designed all sorts of things from a table to a giant football stadium, a bus to a  giant bridge, a Meccano bird to a giant airport.  I also compose music, plays drums and draw portraits……..

Yasmin Ali – Chemical Engineer with a short attention span. Talking about the magic of 3D printing.

Corina Kwami – Singing city-loving engineer who works on water issues and jazz in cities.

Ben Godber Ben Godber is a structural engineer who reckons you need more danger in your life. With your help he’ll be explaining why that bridge hasn’t fallen over yet using a rather fetching pair of roller skates.

Anna Ploszajski (and friends) – What happens when you put hydrogen fuel cells and drunk people together.

Bob Barnes – I’m gonna take the sexy out of dancing and fill it full of forces instead.

Chris Mills – Raining on a Russian Constructivist’s parade’ – the story of when a student of engineering set out to determine the actual feasibility of Tatlin’s Tower, a utopian spiralling 400m monument proposed in Moscow following the 1917 Revolution.

Tom Cohen – Despite having spent a great deal of time observing engineers in their natural habitat, remains unable to explain many of their characteristics. He intends to share his perplexity as a cheap alternative to providing any real insight.

Becci Taylor – The secret world of building services engineering.

The gig is in the basement of the Star of Kings (that’s here) on Tuesday May 19th with the doors opening at 7pm. Tickets are £6 plus booking fee from here and that £6 will go to Oli’s chosen charity.

SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by Neil Denny – April 21st, Star of Kings

Ticket Link

WE MADE IT. Winter is over and everyone can cheer up. Mirrored aviators are now completely acceptable at all times, rather than just when hiding a brutal hangover.


This month our guest curator is a bit of a celebrity – he’s Neil Denny, the voice and brain of Little Atoms, a Resonance FM show and podcast that has recently spawned into an entire self-facilitating media node right here

Neil has picked ten of his favourite science voices and we’ve given them 9 minutes each on stage to show you their stuff. What will happen? WE HAVE NO IDEA. Chaos is in the brand values ;-)

Steve Cross – Geek comedian, MC, confused non-explainer of science. Naked mole rat fan.

Monika Bohm – German geek, lover of freshwater molluscs, interested in extinction risk. Maybe it’s time to go for a drink at the bar – or maybe it’s time to join me in the weird, wonderful – and yes, sometimes depressing – world of assessing species for the IUCN Red List. It’s only a few minutes of your life – what’s the worst that can happen? Well, extinction, I suppose, but chances are rather slim…

Carl Murray – “My mother-in-law is orbiting Saturn”. Have you ever wondered what you might find if you sent a spacecraft to Saturn and studied the images it returned? Carl Murray is a planetary scientist who has been a member of the Imaging Team on the Cassini spacecraft since 1990.

Helen Scales – True to her name, Helen Scales is a marine biologist who’s rather fond of all things fishy. She’ll be talking about her upcoming book Spirals in Time featuring animals that admittedly don’t have scales, but they do have lovely shells.

Simon Watt – I will be talking about my new project @LevelUpHuman and what the next stage in human evolution might be.

Andrea Hart – Andrea Hart is a Special Collections Curator in the Natural History Musuem Library and will explore an “almost” A-Z of the weird and wonderful scientific illustrations that lurk in the collections.

Shoshana Weider – Manhattan, aliens, and atomic bombs. Plot of a new disaster movie? Planetary geologist Shoshana Weider will tell all.

Claire Asher – Claire is a science writer and communicator, recovering academic and ant geek. She writes the Curious Meerkat blog. She’ll be taking us on a whistle-stop tour of love, life and death in the animal kingdom.

Dan Schreiber – set details tbc

Helen Keen – Helen Keen will be trying out ideas for her forthcoming radio project about The Future. (And – like The Future – it’s all a bit nebulous at the moment…) No fate but what we make! (And I’ve not made it, yet)

Tracy King – set details tbc

The gig is at the Star of Kings on Tuesday April 21st. Doors are 7pm and the show should be done by about 10. Tickets are £6 (plus booking fee) and that money will go to Resonance FM, a charitable arts radio show where Little Atoms began.

Over 18s only.

SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by Prof Sophie Scott. March 17th, Star of Kings.



Don’t worry. We’d never do a zombie-themed gig. ZOMBIES ARE SO OVER.

But we still love the brain, and that’s why we’ve teamed up with long-term Showoff Science Advisor Prof Sophie Scott to pull together a whole night of chaotic science cabaret around the theme of the brain. And it’s during Brain Awareness Week too!

The gig is on Tuesday March 17th in the basement of the Star of Kings. It’ll feature the following amazing brainy acts taking 9 minutes each to make something science-y happen on stage:

Steve Cross – comedian and Science Showoff’s MC. Might not have a brain given the rubbish that comes out of his mouth.

Sophie Scott herself – set details tbc

Sophie Meekings – I’m deaf. I study voices. This was a terrible decision. Let me amaze your ears with some cool demos I probably won’t be able to hear.

Mairead Macsweeney – An exploration of sign language and the brain.

Aaron Margolis – The Kohnstamm Phenomenon: we explain the science behind an old party trick, and demonstrate how your muscles can be fooled into moving of their own accord

Alex Leff – How we see the world and why it doesn’t disappear every time we move our eyes. Did you know that you can see everyone else’s eyes move but not you own? I’ll explain why that is and how our brain builds up a picture of the visual world piece-by-piece, yet we have the strong impression that we can see everything in front of us all at the same time.

Duncan Wisbey – “Alongside his acting career Duncan Wisbey has been an impressionist on programmes like Dead Ringers and the Big Impression, working with and learning from the best in the country, such as Alistair McGowan, Jon Culshaw and Lewis McLeod. Tonight he will show some of the tricks of the trade and reveal some of the fascinating things he’s learned about the brain from working with Professor Sophie Scott. He will also give a little performance and will happily take questions from the audience.”

Leun Otten – Leun Otten is a cognitive neuroscientist who likes to play with minds… and who will show you how your mind can play with you.

Erman Misirlisoy – I’ll be talking about fallacious thinking and how it affects casinos, starships, and the Daily Mail.

Doors open at 7pm and the gig will finish around 10pm. Tickets cost £6 and we’ll be donating all of that money to a charity of Sophie’s choice. Over 18s only.


MY OTHER FUTURE with NESTA – 4th and 11th of March

We’ve teamed up with NESTA to explore what the future is really, really, definitely going to be like through the duel methods of FACTS and COMEDY. Join regular Showoff MC Steve Cross and a whole load of innovators, entrepreneurs and techy folk for two evenings of competition about things to come.

The first gig is March 4th at Sutton House in Hackney (an East London gig for all those who complain that we don’t get out to you enough!) and the second is 11th March at the Star of Kings. Each gig will feature 8-10 competitors battling it out to get you to believe in their vision of what happens next.

Full details and tickets for the gigs are available from:

SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by the International Year of Light, Star of Kings, February 17th

Isn’t light amazing? Without light you couldn’t use binoculars to see an enemy helicopter approach. Without light you couldn’t train a laser on the helicopter to target missiles onto it. Without light the resulting explosion would just be heat and sound and no fun to look at.

Have I played too much Call of Duty recently?

Science Showoff, the international (we have gigged in Wales and Scotland) chaotic science cabaret night has joined up with the International Year of Light to bring you a whole evening of fun-packed science performance with light in it. Well, most of you will be using your eyes to see the performances so light will be involved.

The gig is on February 17th (that’s a Tuesday) at the Star of Kings in London. Tickets are £6 (plus 60p booking fee) from here. All the ticket money is going to a charity chosen by Toby Shannon from the International Year of Light, which is Solar Aid. The doors open at 7pm.

“BUT WHO WILL BE SHOWING OFF SCIENCE?!?” you ask. Here’s who:

Steve Cross – your host and compere, science comedian and general troublemaker.

Toby Shannon – International Year of Light co-ordinator in the UK and general good egg.

Matthew Malek – Attaining EnLIGHTenment: This PechaKucha-style presentation covers the history of light in the universe. Starting from the very newest light, and travelling back to the footprint of the Big Bang, Dr. Matthew Malek covers light in all its luminescent glory!

Oli Usher – I’ve spent the last few years putting a positive spin on astronomy – so I’m going to see how much of that I can undo in nine minutes. Will feature: bad science, inarticulate scientists, priapic nebulae, boring discoveries, telescopes that burst into flames and unfortunately titled papers about Uranus.

Lex Webb – I’m going to talk about using light microscopy and fluorescent reporters in zebrafish to study gene expression during embryonic development.

Dr Prabhjot Saini (aka PJ) – Recently finished a PhD at Imperial College, but still working there as a post-doc because I love Chemistry!

Mike Sulu – Life when a university is your workplace.

Vivian Tong – I am a PhD student in the Materials Department at Imperial College London. Mostly I spend my days squashing small bits of metal and looking at them in big microscopes.

Lauren Gardiner – All life on Earth depends on plants. All plants depend on light. I specialise in plants from lovely sunny, warm places, places with LOTS of light. Except in the forest, which is mostly where my often misunderstood work as a botanist takes me.

Gemma Bale – Can you use light to measure brain activity? No? Well I can. I’ll be showing off science from my PhD at UCL, focussing (light) on blood, brains and babies.

Yamina Bakiri – How does your brain see?

Do buy a ticket and come and join us for a night where puns on the word ‘light’ will be strictly limited.

SCIENCE SHOWOFF BRISTOL 10 – Jan 22nd, Grain Barge

Hello Bristol!

Do you like science?

Do you like fun?

If you answered yes to at least one of those you’re our target market. And if you didn’t answer yes, then you’re our target audience to convert into a target market! We have got a gig that will suit you all PERFECTLY.

Tonight we fill the Grain Barge with science and comedy and chaos, and all for the low price of £5, ALL OF WHICH will go to charity. Tickets:

Here are the amazing science brains who will be taking to the stage to fill your mind with wonder and amazement:

Steve Cross – Science comedian, compere, troublemaker.

Will Davies – Eating healthily is one of the classic new years resolutions, and Will is here to help! With antennae!

Aaron Boardley – Ever got a song stuck in your head? We’ll either find out why that’s the case, or irritate the heck out of your ear canal in the process.

Clare Duxbury – The Audience Effect: Why you screw up more when people are watching.

Jon Chouler – Join me on an interactive demonstration (with lots of audience participation!) to show you how Microbial Fuel Cell technology works, and how it can potentially be used as a novel way to test fresh water sources in developing countries.

Audrey Nailor – “Why haven’t we cured cancer yet?” I WILL TELL YOU WHY.

Aoife Glass – Sliding through your skin, squirming through your guts or crawling through your hair. They might make you itch, but parasites are amazing beasties, and they’ve evolved to live in some of the most hostile environments of all; inside other animals. Prepare to feel just a little bit queasy.

Tim Maynard – Come and join Tim and some of his weird and wonderful six legged critters for 9 mins in the World of The Mini Beast. Your very life might depend on it!!

Sarah Snell-Pym – Ada Lovelace has become famous in Geek Circles in the last few year, the victorian lady who wrote the first computer programme – *before* there were computers.  But what is the story behind it all? Meet Ada Puppet and come on a whirl wind adventure involving maths, victorian society and the joy and sorrows of gambling.


The gig is at the Grain Barge in Bristol on January 22nd. Doors open at 7pm with the gig starting at 7.30. We should be done by 10 and there will be an intermission. Tickets are £5 (all of that money goes to the Bristol Nature Network)