Soapbox Science 2016 Cambridge

Soapbox Science (61 of 79)Make sure you come to Cambridge on 2nd July 2016!

Soapbox Science is coming to the streets of this historic university city, as some of the region’s leading female scientists take to their soapboxes to showcase their science to the general public. Speakers from across the spectrum of scientific research will transform the streets into a hotbed of cutting-edge learning and discussion.

This is one of several Soapbox Science events running across the country this summer, aiming to help eliminate gender inequality in science by raising the profile, and challenging the public’s view, of women and science.  We hope we’ll see you there!



Details of the location and timing of the event


: Saturday 2nd July, 2016

Address: Market Square, Cambridge

Time: 12pm – 3pm





STFC2We couldn’t run our events without the logistical and financial support of our sponsors. Since 2014, Soapbox Science is supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Cambridge_uniThe University of Cambridge is the host institution for the Cambridge event. The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. To date, 90 affiliates of the University have won the Nobel Prize. Founded in 1209, the University comprises 31 autonomous Colleges, which admit undergraduates and provide small-group tuition, and 150 departments, faculties and institutions. Cambridge is a global university. Its 19,000 student body includes 3,700 international students from 120 countries. Cambridge researchers collaborate with colleagues worldwide, and the University has established larger-scale partnerships in Asia, Africa and America.

Sainsbury_labThe Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge is a new research institute funded by the Gatsby Foundation. The aim of the Laboratory is to elucidate the regulatory systems underlying plant growth and development. We are passionate about education and outreach, learn more here


institute_of_physicsThe Institute of Physics is sponsoring Sarah Bohndiek and Nikita Hari. The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. It is a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application. The IOP has an active ‘Women in physics’ group. The East Anglia Branch support a range of scientific outreach activities, including regional open physics seminars and busking physics events.

Cambridge-regional-collegeCambridge Regional College is a leading centre of vocational excellence. Students at Cambridge Regional College built the Soapboxes for this event.

murray_edwardsMurray Edwards College is one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge and actively supports women in science. The college blog encourages able young women at school to contribute to scientific discussion, and welcomes all initiatives to show the contribution and creativity of women scientists today.

jesus_collegeJesus College is one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge and was established between 1496 and 1516 on the site of the twelfth-century Benedictine nunnery of St Mary and St Radegund.Jesus college is committed to academic excellence, offering talented students, whatever their means, the advantages of a first-rate system of education within a stimulating and supportive environment and providing the widest ranges of opportunities. Jesus College is always keen to support local educational outreach
initiatives such as Soapbox Science’s Cambridge event. We are
particularly looking forward to the session by Professor Kathryn Lilley,
one of the College’s Fellows.

corpus_christiCorpus Christi College is sponsoring Sarah Bohndiek, who is a fellow of the college. Corpus Christi College is one of the ancient colleges in the University of Cambridge, founded in 1352 by the Guilds of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today it is a vibrant community of scholars and students spread across two campuses – our buildings in the heart of mediaeval Cambridge, and our spacious postgraduate site at nearby Leckhampton. Corpus Christi College actively supports  Women in Science through successful initiatives such as the annual Women in STEM Summer School.

churchillChurchill College is one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge and is sponsoring Nikita Hari, who is a student of the college. Churchill College is an open, progressive and outward-looking centre of excellence. Receiving its Royal Charter in 1960, Churchill College, is the national and Commonwealth memorial to Sir Winston Churchill. It is the embodiment of his vision of how higher education can benefit society in the modern age. Like the thirty other colleges in Cambridge University, Churchill College is committed to outstanding academic achievement; thirty of our members have won the Nobel Prize.

clare_hallClare Hall is one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge. It was founded in 1966 on the initiative of Clare College and is a graduate college renowned for its informal approach to college life and international diversity. The President, Fellows, Visiting Fellows and graduate students together make up an integrated academic society that is not constrained by hierarchy and is consequently a culturally rich and intellectually diverse environment for advanced study.

lucy_cavendishLucy Cavendish College is one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge and is the latest and perhaps the last women’s college to be founded in the UK. The college was established in 1965, initially as an experimental female academy for women graduates. The development of the college grew out of the vision and determination of three women: Anna McClean Bidder, a zoologist, later Curator of Malacology in the Museum of Zoology; Kathleen Louise Wood-Legh, a medieval historian; and Margaret Mary Braithwaite (née Masterman), a philosopher and later Director of the Cambridge Language Research Unit.




For a first event in the region, 2016 saw strong competition to appear at the event. The 12 winners and their discussion topics included:

Ms Isabel Maria Bonachera Martin, University of Cambridge “Strange physics and its applications”

Ms Megan McGregor, University of Cambridge “Those wondrous women and their flying machines – How can you engineer atoms to make flying leaner and greener?”

Professor Maria Grazia Spillantini, University of Cambridge “Untangling the role of protein aggregation in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease”

Dr Siobhan Braybrook (@BraybrookSA), University of Cambridge “Moving without muscle – how plants dance”

Professor Kathryn Lilley (@lilley_ks), University of Cambridge “Where do proteins live in human cells? What happens when this goes wrong?”

Ms Nikita Hari (@NikkiHari), University of Cambridge “Electric power knows no gender – science knows no gender”

Ms Felicity Bedford (@FelicityBedford), University of Cambridge “What do bees need? How to increase the pollination services provided by our busy bees”

Dr Nicola Smyllie (@NicolaSmyllie), University of Cambridge “Body clocks: rhythm of life”

Dr Sarah Bohndiek (@SarahBohndiek), University of Cambridge “Shining light on cancer”

Dr Siân Lane, Met Office “weather under the microscope* ”                     

*microscope not included

Dr Danielle Mersch, University of Cambridge “Decoding the fly brain’”

Dr Sasha Berdichevski , University of Cambridge “Growing tissues and organs in the laboratory: the future of the transplantation medicine”



Discover our 2016 speakers