Soapbox Science 2016 Swansea

Swansea will be hosting their third Soapbox Science event on Saturday 10th September 2016. Our soapboxes will be moved inland from the beach to Swansea’s shopping area in the city centre, thereby forming a bridgehead to the British Science ‘Fringe’ Festival. The city will be buzzing with shoppers, families, tourists and other city dwellers – we aim to stop them in their tracks with women at the forefront of science and technology from all over Wales and beyond talking about their research! The event’s mission is to raise the profile, and challenge the public’s view, of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). If you’d like to see what Soapbox Science looks like in action in Swansea, have a look at our Soapbox Science Swansea 2015 video.


STFC2We could not run this Swansea event without the generous logistical and financial support of our sponsors. Soapbox Science is currently funded by the STFC, and our Swansea events have been supported generously from the start by Swansea University and its STEMM colleges: College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Human and Health Sciences, and the Swansea University Medical School. For 2016, Soapbox Science Swansea will also contribute to the British Science Fringe Festival as a bridgehead event in the city centre encouraging the public to visit the Fringe Festival at and around the National Waterfront Museum.
2_RoyalSocietyChemistryThe Royal Society of Chemistry has pledged sponsor support for the event and five of the speakers of Soapbox Science Swansea 2016. The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. We are the largest non-government supporter of chemistry education in the UK and our activities encompass lifelong learning, including both formal and informal education. We promote, support and celebrate chemistry. We work to shape the future of the chemical sciences – for the benefit of science and humanity.

3_MicrobiologySocietyThe Microbiology Society will sponsor the event and three speakers at Soapbox Science Swansea 2016. The Society is a membership organisation for scientists who work in all areas of microbiology. It is the largest learned microbiological society in Europe with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools. The Society publishes key academic journals in microbiology and virology, organises international scientific conferences and provides an international forum for communication among microbiologists and supports their professional development. The Society promotes the understanding of microbiology to a diverse range of stakeholders, including policy-makers, students, teachers, journalists and the wider public, through a comprehensive framework of communication activities and resources.

4_haydale-logo-full-colour-CMYKHaydale Limited is proud to sponsor Soapbox Science Swansea 2016, especially speaker and co-organiser Dr Jenny Baker, who will discuss the usefulness of carbon materials from diamonds to graphite and everything in between. Haydale Limited is based in South Wales, and housed in a purpose built facility for processing and handling nano-materials with a laboratory facility. Haydale Limited is facilitating the application of graphenes and other nano-materials in fields such as inks, sensors, energy storage, composites, paints and coatings.

5_NRN-LCEEThe Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE) will support speaker Chloe Robinson, who is a PhD student in our AquaWales Research Cluster. The NRN-LCEE funds Fellowships and PhD studentships embedded into interdisciplinary and collaborative research Clusters of Welsh Universities and other partners, that address a range of topics around four main themes: 1) Sustainable intensification; 2) low carbon energy pathways, 3) the bio-economy; and 4) impacts and mitigation of climate change and human activities. In addition, the Network funds and organises workshops and events, a Fellowship scheme for researchers returning to work after a career break, and a public lecture series aimed at bringing experts in current LCEE research challenges to Wales.

6_LSWThe Learned Society of Wales has pledged support for Soapbox Science Swansea 2016. The Learned Society of Wales’ mission is to promote the advancement of learning and scholarship and the dissemination and application of the results of academic enquiry and research, to act as an independent source of expert scholarly advice and comment on matters affecting the research , scholarship and wellbeing of Wales and its people, and to advance public discussion and interaction on matters of national and international importance, and to celebrate, recognise, preserve, protect and encourage excellence in all scholarly disciplines, and in the professions, industry and commerce, the arts and public service.

Details of the location and timing of the event

:  Saturday 10th September 2016

Address: City Centre, Oxford Street, SA1 3AE

Time: 11am – 3pm


2016 saw strong competition to appear at this Swansea’s event. The winners and their discussion topics included:

Professor Farah Bhatti (@DrFBE), Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board “Heart Surgery” 

Dr Shirin Alexander, Swansea University “Superhydrophobic (waterproof) coating protects without the price”

Dr Jenny Baker (@JenPVTech), Swansea University “From diamonds to graphite and everything inbetween – which carbon is the most useful?

Dr Julie Balen, University of Sheffield “Why health is global and responsibility is shared

Dr Rachel Woods, Swansea University (@Rajal1066) “Materials engineering for the future”

Dr Cinzia Giannetti, Swansea University “Making sense of Big Data and the Internet of Things”

Dr Susanne Claus (@SusanneClaus), Cardiff University “The magic of non-Newtonian fluids: see a fluid flow against gravity and turning into stone”

Miss Elizabeth Evans (@E_E_Evans), Swansea University “Amazing ash! The journey of a single ash particle and its potential effect on the world”

Dr Rocio Hernandez, Swansea University “The role of remote sensing in forest health monitoring and early detection of forest health threats”

Dr Sharon Huws (@sharonhuws), Aberystwyth University “The role microbes play in cattle and sheep

Professor Michelle Lee (@drmichlee), Swansea University “How sensible is your brain?”

Dr Yasmin Friedmann, Swansea University “Fighting disease from the comfort of your own computer”

Miss Chloe Robinson (@cvrobinson92), Swansea University “eDNA & Invasive species: catching critters via molecular footprints / eDNA a rhywogaethau ymledol: Dal creaduriaid drwy olion traed moleciwlaidd   

Dr Alla Silkina (@AllaSilkina1), Swansea University “Nature’s secrets of algae for healthy life: cosmetic, pharma, food and feed applications”

Dr Yuqin Wang, Swansea University “Cholesterol metabolisms in human health and disease

Dr Ivonne Zavala, Swansea University “The Dark Side of the Universe