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 – 26th April – the Grain Barge, Bristol

Hot on the heels of last month’s record breaking Science Showoff, we have another one to be friends with it. You can buy tickets now as a trust exercise, or read on to learn about the fabulous performers you’ll see there.

Join us in The Grain Barge for Bristol’s premier science comedy cabaret, featuring:

Ezzy Pearson – Have you ever wondered how to commit the perfect murder in space? Because Ezzy Pearson has. She’ll be talking you through her cunning plan.”

Stephen Litherland  Evolution has produced a wide variety of stunning and beautiful organisms throughout the natural world, however it’s also produced some pretty rubbish ones as well. Steve will be looking at how these pathetic excuses for organisms still exist despite them definitely not being the fittest at surviving.”

Matt Brierly – Animals and explosives – surely two things scientists wouldn’t mix right? Wrong! Comedian Matt Brierley takes a break from his sell-out dinosaur show to present the beguiling and bonkers tale of the poor animals that went BOOM!

Leah Richards, who’ll be talking about the charms of an animal a lot of us still find hard to love.

Antonia Forster – Is your love life not what it used to be? Can’t find a date worth swiping right for? Antonia “Ant” Forster argues that we can learn much about romance from the wonderful world of invertebrates.

Tom Rodgers – Like most rational people, Tom is pretty sure that ‘the internet’ is spying on him at all times. Tonight he’ll be trying to find out if video games and Facebook could really be controlling his mind.

KT Cooper presents “My Step-mum gave me a sex manual”. Taking her inspiration from the extremely popular podcast “My Dad Wrote A Porno” KT will make us all feel uncomfortable by reading excerpts from “The Book of Love” a 1970’s sex manual her step mum gave to her when she was 15. It may not be as saucy as Belinda Blinks but it definitely is more anatomically accurate!

and finally, the team from SynBioExpo, an exhibition from Tuesday 25th – Saturday 29th April, 10am – 6pm, will give an overview of their project! If you could change your DNA, would you? CRISPR is a new technology for editing DNA which has started to revolutionise biological research – and has the potential to transform the world around you. Bristol-based artists and researchers from the University of Bristol have collaborated to produce SynBioExpo, an exhibition that explores Synthetic Biology and CRISPR.

All brought together by your host, veteran of many Science Showoffs, possessor of many metal face decorations and one time Physics World comedy columnist, Scary.

Tickets are £6.60 or £8 on the door, so buy in advance to save pennies!


Doors open 7pm for a 7.30 start.

Venue: The Grain Barge, Mardyke Wharf, Bristol.

Note:  venue is only accessible through stairs, we’re sorry!

All your ticket money will be given to small local charities. Suggestions for good causes welcome.

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