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



Ongoing works in the main Bloomsbury Theatre have meant that it has unexpected closed until 2016 and the gig on the 11th can’t go ahead (UCL’s statement is here). All ticketholders will have their money refunded by the Theatre. We’re very sorry and sad.

The newly-refurbished Bloomsbury Theatre Studio is still open, however, so we’ll be staging a smaller gig in there instead. Most of the acts who were due to be on upstairs will be joining us for a more exclusive and intimate show. Tickets are £6 and all that money will go to the London Legal Support Trust.

Tickets are here: http://www.thebloomsbury.com/event/run/15028-2



Join us for a night of chaotic science entertainment from some of UCL’s best brainboxes. And all in aid of charity!

Over the last seven years at UCL Steve Cross has trained loads of scientists to be funny on stage, and tonight an all-star team of them will storm the Bloomsbury Theatre to give you one of the most enlightening, entertaining and energising nights of your life. Steve will be joined by ten scientists familiar from television, radio and online videos, like Hannah Fry, Sophie Scott, Martin Austwick and Suze Kundu all of whom got their start through Bright Club and Science Showoff.

As part of UCL’s commitment to its London community we’re donating all of tonight’s ticket money to a local charity – the London Legal Support Trust. The cash will go towards helping londoners access the legal help they need to improve their lives.

Dr Steve Cross – comedian, science troll, glasses-wearer.
Dr Hannah Fry – maths genius, TV presenter, nerd.
Dr Martin Austwick – space modeller, song writer, beard owner.
Prof Sophie Scott – neuroscientist, laughter analyst, sparkly shoe wearer.
Dr Suze Kundu – nanoscientist, TV presenter, enthusiast.
Kat Nilsson – dinosaur owner, comedian, boss.
Dr Sheila Kanani – space geek, retired teacher, proto-parent.
Dr Chiara Ambrosio – historian, philosopher, italian.


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