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

Books Showoff Halloween Special – Weds 25 October – Waterstones TCR



Featuring gothic horror and futuristic fantasy, scary kids tales, and books made from human flesh – on October 25th Books Showoff has a Halloween theme!

Joining guest host, comedian and podcaster Gregory Akerman in the basement of Waterstones Tottenham Court Road (it’s a nice basement, with bright lights and booze, not a spooky one, promise) are:
Ben Dornan is going to talk about anthropodermic bibliopegy – the practice of binding books in human skin – and try to make it funny. He has, at best, middling knowledge of book binding, biology, medical ethics and comedy
Romany Reagan is a final-year PhD candidate, playwright, taphophile, and cemetery historian. She’ll present Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book – proof that she is daily entrenching further into a caricature of herself
Scientist Oz Ismail recalls some surprisingly terrifying literature from his childhood
Amanda DiGioia – PhD student, werewolf expert, heavy metal fan, and author of Childbirth and Parenting in Horror Texts: The Marginalized and the Monstrous, Amanda explains the horrors of writing
Cerys Bradley is a PhD student, stand-up comedian and absolute wuss. Possibly the last person you would book to do a Halloween show

Quantum physicist and comedian Michael Conterio takes a break from his usual diet of spaceships and wizards, and discovers how horrifying modern fiction can be

Combining lessons from The Handbook for the Recently Deceased and the lesser known The Living and the Dead: Harmonious Lifestyles and Peaceful Co-existence, mortician Lara-Rose Iredale will step out of her dark room and reveal what the living won’t (or is that can’t?) usually see.

Tickets are £7 from the Waterstones website

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