What is Soapbox Science?

Soapbox Science is a novel public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do. Our events transform public areas into an arena for public learning and scientific debate; they follow the format of London Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner, which is historically an arena for public debate. With Soapbox Science, we want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy, learn from, heckle, question, probe, interact with and be inspired by some of our leading scientists. No middle man, no powerpoint slide, no amphitheater – just remarkable women in science who are there to amaze you with their latest discoveries, and to answer the science questions you have been burning to ask. Look out for bat simulators, fake breasts or giant pictures of volcanoes. Or simply hear them talk about what fascinates them, and why they think they have the most fantastic job in the world!


Listen below to our co-founders talking about Soapbox Science, and what to expect at our festival this year


What happened so far?

Athena Donald

2015 was an exciting year for us. We ran our 5th annual London event on The SouthBank at the end of May. In addition, we established new events in different cities around the UK, including Exeter, Newcastle and Belfast. This provided opportunities for >90 women in science all over the UK to get on their soapbox and tell the world about their work. Soapbox Science was also commended by the Prime Minister last year.

However, 2016 is even more exciting, with 13 events in the UK and our first Australian event in Brisbane. This year, we are particularly proud to feature our initiative in 5 new cities around the UK, namely Milton Keynes, Hull, Cambridge, Oxford, Reading and Cardiff. For more information on our upcoming events, just have a look here. Soapbox Science was also delighted to be awarded a Silver Medal, from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) on 22 June 2016.


Who are we?

We are Drs Seirian Sumner and Nathalie Pettorelli, the co-organisers of Soapbox Science. We are both research biologists, based in the United Kingdom.

Pettorelli & Sumner

Dr Seirian Sumner – Evolutionary biologist and behavioural ecologist; specialises in social evolution and social behaviour in insects (bees, wasps & ants) http://www.bristol.ac.uk/biology/people/seirian-r-sumner/index.html
Twitter: @WaspWoman

Dr Nathalie Pettorelli – Ecologist interested in global environmental change and its impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services http://www.zsl.org/nathaliepettorelli
Twitter: @Pettorelli


Funders & Sponsors

L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science. LogoZSL standard black jpegWe couldn’t run these events without the generous logistical and financial support of our sponsors and funders. Our events have been supported from the start by the L’Oreal UNESCO For Women In Science Scheme and the Zoological Society of London.

Since 2014, our whole initiative is moreover supported by STFC.




Want to contact us?

Drop us an email at soapboxscience@gmail.com for any general inquiry