Science Showoff, 14th December, Star of Kings

It’s Christmaaaass!


Join us for some chaotic science comedy cabaret in a basement full of laughter and learning that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Find out about loads of science stuff, feel great about yourself, then drink all the really strong alcoholic liquids like sherry or something because that’s quite Christmassy, and forget it all.

Joining internationally renowned comedy nerd Steve Cross are a line-up of top funny smart people from London and Cambridge: Jamie Upton, Rachel Wheeley, Paul Kirk, Kate Oliver, Stanley Strawbridge, Dana Galili, and Cerys Bradley with Florence Schechter.


Books Showoff, 13th December, Waterstones Tottenham Court Road

Our pre-Christmas Books Showoff in the lovely basement of Waterstones Tottenham Court Road is in absolutely no way a ploy to get you drunk and buying everything in sight for your loved ones (or loathed ones, depending on which part of the PopSci section you’re browsing). Nope. Never even crossed our minds.



(Steve reading a book)

Joining your compere Steve Cross for a night of literary laughs and none-too-subtle plugs for their own works of genius are:

Rebecca Rideal – Historian Rebecca Rideal is the author of last summer’s top holiday beach read, 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire.

Simon Watt – Simon is a biologist, writer, science communicator, comedian and TV presenter, perhaps best known as a presenter on the BAFTA winning documentary series Inside Nature’s Giants and the Channel 4 special The Elephant: Life After Death.

Helen Pilcher – Helen’s Bring Back the King is the book for you if you’ve ever fancied having a pet dinosaur (just us?). The science writer and comedian will explain the pitfalls and practicalities of de-extinction (it’s an actual thing) and ponders whether or not Elvis could be resurrected from the DNA inside a pickled wart. Are you clonesome tonight?

Ann Morgan – Literary explorer Ann Morgan read a book from every country in the world in 2012 and continues to blog about her reading adventures. Her debut novel, Beside Myself, is the story of twins who swap places in a childhood game and get trapped in the wrong lives. The perfect dark family tale for when relatives get on your nerves over the festive season.

Joanne Paul – Joanne is a Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Sussex. Her book, Thomas More, seeks to examine this controversial figure as a thinker and writer, uncovering his central beliefs and arguments.

Jonathan L. Howard – Jonathan is the author of the Johannes Cabal, Carter & Lovecraft, and Russalka Chronicles series of books. The Johannes Cabal series consists of Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, Johannes Cabal the Detective, The Fear Institute, The Brothers Cabal, and published in September this year, The Fall of the House of Cabal. The series currently enjoys “cult” status, but the author would prefer “bestselling.”

Sarah Bee – Sarah wrote a book called The Yes. It’s about a Yes in a land of Nos.

Plus more from Helen Keen

Get your five quid tickets from the Waterstones website

Agony Auncles of Science, 22nd November, The Harrison


They look like regular advice columnists, but they have a secret weapon: science.

Join your host, Auncle Scary, and a panel of all kinds of scientists as they try and solve problems of lovelife, gardening, etiquette and more, live, using science wildly inappropriately.


No problem too large or too small, and recorded for your later enjoyment!

Can science can solve everything, or indeed anything at all?

Our Science Showoff Talent Factory panel includes:

Anna Ploszajski – resident engineer, specialist subjects: materials, innuendos and tenuous analogies

Jamie Upton – 22 year vet in the uncle game and King in the north, specialist subjects: death, brains and dead brains

Aimee Eckert – peerless style icon, specialist subjects: no matter what your query – cancer has the answer

Mike Conterio – scoutmaster of the universe, specialist subjects: lighting fires under stressful situations and quantum physics

Charlotte Mykura – tamer of wild yeasts, solver of knicker problems (unrelated)

All proceeds go to the Inner City Centre

Tuesday 22nd November, The Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, London, WC1H, 7pm


Books Showoff, 16th November, Waterstones Tottenham Court Road



Join us on Wednesday 16th November for the seventh iteration of Books Showoff – our chaotic open mic night for literary lovers in the basement of the flashy Waterstones on Tottenham Court Road. They do GREAT cocktails. Drink some, and hear from:

Rachel Wheeley – Rachel’s kids have just declared themselves Christian but she can’t discuss faith with them without coming clean about Santa. Preparing herself for future debate, Rachel dived into Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and emerged a spherical ball of furious rage. She’ll be telling us all about it, espresso martini in hand.

Cerys Bradley – Cerys is a mathematician and feminist (shall we say STEMinist?) and will be talking about Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, a book which straddles the intersection between topology and the treatment of women in the Victorian era.

Stephen Thomas – Stephen will be delving into a rich and vivid historical biography of the pineapple, and in doing so will provide everyone with a wide selection of exciting pineapple facts to take home and share with friends and family this Christmas.

Caspar Addyman – Caspar is a developmental psychologist at Goldsmiths. He’s writing a book called The Laughing Baby about the science of what makes babies happy and why. That’s not particularly funny so instead he’ll tell you a Dickensian tale of orphaned baby rats.

Hannah Cameron – Being a Beast is not only Hannah Cameron’s favourite past time; it also happens to be a brilliant (and bizarrely poetic) book about eating worms. Discover how fun being beastly can be as she talks about the collision of human and animal worlds.

Louise Sands – Louise is a PhD student studying Science Communication, and a self-confessed bookaholic. She will be explaining more about her affliction and rambling about authors who have a tendency to lose the plot.

Patrick Spicer – Patrick is a stand-up comedian. At Books Showoff he’ll be thoughtfully charting the rise and fall of the book, amongst the best received collaboration of inks and papers, with a maximum-information presentation sectioned into 3 or 11 acts.

Rosie Clarke – Rosie will be enthusing about the way Ben Aaronovitch fuses contemporary policing in multicultural London with urban fantasy where magic is real and Mother and Father Thames, and all their tributaries, have decided opinions about the use and misuse of power.

Plus more from your host Steve Cross.

Tickets are just £5 from the Waterstones website 


Science Showoff – 15th November, Star of Kings

We bent time and space to bring you stupid amounts of showing off up and down the country in October, and there’s no sign of November slowing down. A large number of people may have elected Donald Trump to the presidency at this point – it’s probably for the best that we all hide in a basement with loads of booze.



Cheering you up at the Star of Kings, York Way, London, on Tuesday 15th November are:

Matt Hutchinson  – Matt’s a junior doctor driven into the arms of stand up comedy by the new contract. The fact he considers making strangers laugh the best use of his time should tell you all you need to know about the state of the NHS.

Kyle Evans – Kyle’s first love was Countdown. He’ll be talking about some of the maths behind the Countdown numbers round and then doing a song.

Matthew Young – We’ve all been told that the only constant in life on Earth is that things get old and die – but neuroscientist and science communicator Matt Young won’t accept this. Get out your notebooks and brace yourselves for Immortality 101; a bullet point guide to how you can live forever! Maybe.

Claire Asher – Claire is a freelance science communicator, and part-time Innovation and Impact Officer for the London NERC DTP. She’ll be talking about sex and evolution – from antlers to eye-stalks, and explaining why evolution has produced so many weird and wonderful ways to attract the opposite sex

Kate Storrs – Kate will be talking about Better Living Through Algorithms – her quest to improve her life with mathematics and machine learning, featuring a computer-generated TED talk and an attempt to live The Most Average Day.

Rebecca Mileham – From spacecraft to sharks, Rebecca writes about science for exhibitions around the world. She’s always looking for great examples of museum labels that put big ideas into a small number of words – but has more luck finding those that fail. Spectacularly.

Selina Groh – Selina is a PhD student with a love for spiders and crocodiles who has gone from studying plant population dynamics to fulfilling her palaeontology dreams. How have crocodiles evolved? Why does Selina dream in 0s and 1s? Why are all skulls called John? And how the heck do palaeontologists actually try and make sense of the past?

Plus more from Maia Elliott and your compere Steve Cross who, on a related note, has an extremely long skull (not called John).

Tickets available via WeGotTickets – £6.60

Science Showoff at SpotOn 2016 – 3rd November, Star of Kings

When trying to make your equipment work, please a reviewer, or understand what that woman in your office is going on about, sometimes you just have to laugh.

So we’re adding a Science Showoff fringe event to SpotOn London, a one-day conference looking at the future of science, communications, technology and policy, on the 3rd of November. See attendees from the conference and our usual motley crew of talented science communicators perform at the Star of Kings in central London. We welcome anyone in the audience, whether they are attending the conference, scientists, or real people, as long as they are good at clapping.

Convinced? Buy tickets now!

You will be hearing from the wonderful:

  • Florence Schechter,  a science YouTuber and performer with a BSc in Biochemistry. This taught her the invaluable skill of hating working in labs, so here she is talking about them instead. Her hobbies include travelling and finding an appropriate cat gif for every situation.
  • Stevie Steven GCSE: Confused and amazed in a world I don’t understand, I’ll share stories of adventure and fannying about. This is mostly improvised, includes science and is unnamed.
  • Davina Bentley works as a lawyer by day and stand up comedian by night. As a neuroscience graduate and lawyer she is  particularly interested in the emerging field of neurolaw, but there are no good jokes there so just makes gags about body parts instead.
  • Sadie Harrison, dramaturgist and historian. She doesn’t know anything about publishing in 2030, but she can tell you about 1730.
  • Mike Conterio, who will be shining a light on a common device that has been of dubious benefit to science talks, but a boon to science and sci-fi
  • Elodie Chabrol – a researcher in neuroscience at UCL and the French director of Pint of Science. Outside of the lab, you’ll find Elodie on her phone organising Pint of Science and if not she’ll probably be at the pub! Elodie will talk about love, oxytocin prairie voles and will try and experiment on the audience.  Be ready to fall in love!
  • Scary Boots, a PhD student who will address fundamental scientific questions such as what to investigate and what to do when it doesn’t work.

Your MC for the night will be Northern Powerhouse Dr Jamie Upton. Jamie has a grand total of 1 (one) open access paper, which at least 8 people have read – 7 of whom are not his mum.

And more to be confirmed when we know what they are talking about! (If you’re attending the conference and interested in performance, give us a mail – )

Location: Star Of Kings, 126 York Way, London N1 0AX ( map )

Doors: 7pm, acts start 7.30

Tickets are £6 and all money goes to charity. Buy here or on the door.

The venue is upstairs: if you have access requirements, please contact us and we will do all we can to help.

Science Showoff Bristol – 23rd Nov

It’s the time of year when we celebrate rebels and iconoclasts – and so why not bring that spirit to science cabaret? On the balance of probability, you are unlikely to be burnt! Tickets now available to attend: Buy now. Acts this time include some stories of the women immortalized on the moon, the maths of why video games are hard, and the science of plankton.

Plus, we are looking for one more performer to talk, dance, sing, demonstrate or generally make an exhibition of themselves about any aspect of any science. No experience necessary, first-timers and new ideas welcome: just put together 9 minutes of material for us. Signup here .


Previously we have welcomed theatre about periods, rap about travelling to Proxima Centauri, dance expressing the formation of the first cells, and good old role-play as a hydrogen fuel cell. If you are: a science student or teacher, an actor or film maker, a band, a mime troupe, a circus performer or even a scientist with something to communicate about science, go for it.

Signup here: , and we’ll be in touch to tell you more about it. Laptop, microphone, and projector provided.

See you there!