Soapbox Science 2017 Swansea

Swansea will be hosting their fourth Soapbox Science event on Saturday 8th of July 2017. Our soapboxes will be moved inland from the beach to Swansea’s shopping area in the city centre. 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.


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, especially the Athena Swan teams.

The Royal Society of Biology is sponsoring our event. The Society is a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy, advancing education and professional development, supporting our members and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences.

The Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) will sponsor the event and two of its speakers (Drs Jenkins and Williams) at Soapbox Science Swansea 2017. SfAM works to advance, for the benefit of the public, the science of applied microbiology in its application to the environment, human and animal health, agriculture, and industry. It works in collaboration with other organizations to ensure evidence-based policy making and, in partnership with Wiley, publishes five internationally acclaimed journals. Value for money and a modern, innovative and progressive outlook are the Society’s core principles. A friendly society, SfAM values integrity, honesty, and respect, and seeks to promote excellence and professionalism and to inspire the next generation of microbiologists.

SPECIFIC will sponsor Soapbox Science Swansea and two of its speakers (Drs Woods and Mouhamad). The SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre aims to transform buildings into power stations by enabling them to generate, store and release their own solar energy. The centre brings together world class academic and industrial expertise in the fields of functional coatings, solar energy, battery storage and chemical conversion; alongside unique pilot manufacturing facilities and business development expertise; to develop a range of products that can be integrated into buildings in one smart energy system.

Details of the location and timing of the event

Date:  Saturday 8th July 2017

Address: City Centre

Oxford Street, SA1 3AE

Time: 12 – 3pm


Selected from a competitive pool of Welsh researchers, our 12 speakers will be sharing their work in technology, science, medicine and engineering. The winners and their discussion topics included:

Ms Sophia Komninou (@SophiaKomninou), Swansea University “Did your mum really give you a sweet tooth? How tastes preferences develop and can you ever learn to like vegetables?” 

Professor Cathy Thornton (@fuvjones), Swansea UniversityYour placenta and you” 

Dr Claire Hanley (@clairejhanley), Swansea UniversityStimulating the Ageing Brain” 

Ms Pippa Beston (@pippabeston), Bangor University “How do we encourage cooperation? Social interaction quality and punishments are important” 

Dr Youmna Mouhamad, Swansea University “Screen printing, a technique with endless applications. From colour images to electronics devices” 

Dr Nelly Villamizar, Swansea UniversityMathematics in computational design: from Renault and Citroen in the 50’s to World of Warcraft”

Dr Rachel Woods (@Rajal1066), Swansea University Smart technology that allows capture of solar energy for heating building spaces all year round” 

Dr Catrin Williams (@DrMicroCat), Cardiff University What the deep sea can tell us about microwaves”

Miss Dannii Harte (@DanielleHarte94), Swansea University DNA damage: What is it? How do we test for it? and the artificial intelligence being developed to analyse it”

Dr Rowena Jenkins (@jenkins7ro), Cardiff Metropolitan University Honey! a magical medicine?”

Dr Mabrouka Abuhmid (@M_abuhmida), Swansea University The Internet of Things” 

Dr Jenny Stanford (@JennyDStanford), Swansea University “How do you lose an ice-sheet?”