What is Soapbox Science?

soapbox-science-11-of-79Soapbox 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!

Find out more about our 2018 events here

You can get a feel for our events by watching this video of our London 2013 event. 

You can also listen below to our co-founders talking about Soapbox Science 2016, and what was to be expected at our festival that year



What happened so far?

Athena Donald

2016 was an exciting year for us. We ran 13 events in the UK and our first Australian event in Brisbane. We were particularly proud to feature our initiative in 5 new cities around the UK, namely Milton Keynes, Hull, Cambridge, Oxford, Reading and Cardiff. This provided opportunities for >150 women in science all over the UK to get on their soapbox and tell the world about their work. Soapbox Science was commended by the Prime Minister in 2015, and was delighted to be awarded a Silver Medal from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in June 2016. Both Soapbox co-founders were also invited to provide oral evidence at a 2016 Parliamentary inquiry on science communication.


Who are we?
We are Drs Seirian Sumner and Nathalie Pettorelli,  Soapbox Science co-founders. We are both research biologists, based in the United Kingdom.

soapbox-science-2016-446-photo-by-soapboxDr Seirian Sumner – Evolutionary biologist and behavioural ecologist; specialises in social evolution and social behaviour in insects (bees, wasps & ants)
Twitter: @WaspWoman

Dr Nathalie Pettorelli – Ecologist interested in global environmental change and its impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services
Twitter: @Pettorelli



Funders & Sponsors

L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science. Logo
zslWe 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.




selogoSince 2016, Soapbox Science works in partnership with Speakezee. Speakezee is a searchable database of academic expert speakers. They are a not-for-profit community interest company supported by the University of Bristol and other partners.



Want to contact us?

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