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 Neil Denny – April 21st, Star of Kings

Ticket Link

WE MADE IT. Winter is over and everyone can cheer up. Mirrored aviators are now completely acceptable at all times, rather than just when hiding a brutal hangover.


This month our guest curator is a bit of a celebrity – he’s Neil Denny, the voice and brain of Little Atoms, a Resonance FM show and podcast that has recently spawned into an entire self-facilitating media node right here http://www.littleatoms.com/

Neil has picked ten of his favourite science voices and we’ve given them 9 minutes each on stage to show you their stuff. What will happen? WE HAVE NO IDEA. Chaos is in the brand values ;-)

Steve Cross – Geek comedian, MC, confused non-explainer of science. Naked mole rat fan.

Monika Bohm – German geek, lover of freshwater molluscs, interested in extinction risk. Maybe it’s time to go for a drink at the bar – or maybe it’s time to join me in the weird, wonderful – and yes, sometimes depressing – world of assessing species for the IUCN Red List. It’s only a few minutes of your life – what’s the worst that can happen? Well, extinction, I suppose, but chances are rather slim…

Carl Murray – “My mother-in-law is orbiting Saturn”. Have you ever wondered what you might find if you sent a spacecraft to Saturn and studied the images it returned? Carl Murray is a planetary scientist who has been a member of the Imaging Team on the Cassini spacecraft since 1990.

Helen Scales – True to her name, Helen Scales is a marine biologist who’s rather fond of all things fishy. She’ll be talking about her upcoming book Spirals in Time featuring animals that admittedly don’t have scales, but they do have lovely shells.

Simon Watt – I will be talking about my new project @LevelUpHuman and what the next stage in human evolution might be.

Andrea Hart – Andrea Hart is a Special Collections Curator in the Natural History Musuem Library and will explore an “almost” A-Z of the weird and wonderful scientific illustrations that lurk in the collections.

Shoshana Weider – Manhattan, aliens, and atomic bombs. Plot of a new disaster movie? Planetary geologist Shoshana Weider will tell all.

Claire Asher – Claire is a science writer and communicator, recovering academic and ant geek. She writes the Curious Meerkat blog. She’ll be taking us on a whistle-stop tour of love, life and death in the animal kingdom.

Dan Schreiber – set details tbc

Helen Keen – Helen Keen will be trying out ideas for her forthcoming radio project about The Future. (And – like The Future – it’s all a bit nebulous at the moment…) No fate but what we make! (And I’ve not made it, yet)

Tracy King – set details tbc

The gig is at the Star of Kings on Tuesday April 21st. Doors are 7pm and the show should be done by about 10. Tickets are £6 (plus booking fee) and that money will go to Resonance FM, a charitable arts radio show where Little Atoms began.

Over 18s only.

  1. SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by Prof Sophie Scott. March 17th, Star of Kings. Leave a reply
  2. MY OTHER FUTURE with NESTA – 4th and 11th of March Leave a reply
  3. SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by the International Year of Light, Star of Kings, February 17th Leave a reply
  4. SCIENCE SHOWOFF BRISTOL 10 – Jan 22nd, Grain Barge Leave a reply
  5. Science Showoff at the Bloomsbury Theatre – February 4th Leave a reply
  6. SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by Hannah Fry. Jan 19th, Star of Kings Leave a reply
  7. SCIENCE SHOWOFF BRISTOL 10 – Jan 22nd, Grain Barge. SIGN UP TO PERFORM Leave a reply
  8. SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by Simon Watt. Dec 16th. Star of Kings. Leave a reply
  9. SCIENCE SHOWOFF with SpotOn London – Fri 14th Nov, Star of Kings Leave a reply