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, especially Bristol, usually starting at 7pm. The first gig was on October 4th, 2011.

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. We sell tickets and 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. Year three (Sept 2013-Aug 2014) we raised £15 000.

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

Brilliant. We’d love to. We’ve gigged at the British Science Festival, Manchester Science Festival, The Green Man Festival, the Cardiff Science Festival, with the British Science Association Science Communication Conference, SpotOn London, Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Epic Encounters Season 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.

Sometimes you post ‘SIGNUP TO PERFORM’. How does that work?

For these gigs we publish an online sign-up sheet. The first 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 a few slots for invited guests.

Have you won any awards?


Recent Posts

SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by the UCL Public Engagement Unit – July 21st, Star of Kings

For the last seven years UCL (which those of you stuck in the olden days might call University College London) has had a team helping its researchers to interact with real people in new and interesting ways. Over that time they’ve developed loads of science talent, turning researchers into performers ready to rock any stage.

Tonight ten of those clever folk from the last seven years come together to show you just what scientists and engineers can do with a microphone and a little bit of professional help. At this chaotic extravaganza you’ll see:

Steve Cross – MC, comedian, troublemaker
Gemma Angel (UCL PhD 2009-2013) – set details tbc
Mathew Tata (current UCL PhD student – The Beautiful Biology of Gross
Anna Ploszajski (current UCL PhD student) – science gags, a few games and demos that aren’t fire
Catie Williams (current UCL PhD student) – A microbiologist-turned-obsessive-primate-poo-collector, Catie is ready to convince you that her job’s not all that weird… honestly.
Cerys Bradley (current UCL PhD student) – Cerys is a PhD student in the Crime and Security Science at UCL, whose current research is based in Computer Science. She probably won’t talk about either of these things.
Oli Usher (current UCL staff) – set details tbc
Sarah Bell (current UCL staff) – I am an environmental engineer and I’ll be telling anti-jokes about poo (it’s no laughing matter).
Sophie Meekings (current UCL PhD student) – set details tbc
Jay Stone (UCL PhD student 2008-2012) – set details tbc


The gig is at the Star of Kings, in the basement on Tuesday July 21st. Doors open 7pm and the gig starts at 7.30. Come near 7 if you want a good seat! Over 18s only.

Tickets are £6 (plus booking fee) from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/324124. All of your £6 will be donated to b-eat, a charity helping people affected by eating disorders.

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