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

MY OTHER FUTURE with NESTA – 4th and 11th of March

We’ve teamed up with NESTA to explore what the future is really, really, definitely going to be like through the duel methods of FACTS and COMEDY. Join regular Showoff MC Steve Cross and a whole load of innovators, entrepreneurs and techy folk for two evenings of competition about things to come.

The first gig is March 4th at Sutton House in Hackney (an East London gig for all those who complain that we don’t get out to you enough!) and the second is 11th March at the Star of Kings. Each gig will feature 8-10 competitors battling it out to get you to believe in their vision of what happens next.

Full details and tickets for the gigs are available from:


  1. SCIENCE SHOWOFF BRISTOL 11 – March 19th, Grain Barge. SIGN UP TO PERFORM Leave a reply
  2. SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by the International Year of Light, Star of Kings, February 17th Leave a reply
  3. SCIENCE SHOWOFF BRISTOL 10 – Jan 22nd, Grain Barge Leave a reply
  4. Science Showoff at the Bloomsbury Theatre – February 4th Leave a reply
  5. SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by Hannah Fry. Jan 19th, Star of Kings Leave a reply
  6. SCIENCE SHOWOFF BRISTOL 10 – Jan 22nd, Grain Barge. SIGN UP TO PERFORM Leave a reply
  7. SCIENCE SHOWOFF curated by Simon Watt. Dec 16th. Star of Kings. Leave a reply
  8. SCIENCE SHOWOFF with SpotOn London – Fri 14th Nov, Star of Kings Leave a reply
  9. SCIENCE SHOWOFF BRISTOL 9 – Thurs Nov 20th, Grain Barge Leave a reply