Soapbox Science 2018 Swansea

Swansea is celebrating its first lustrum of Soapbox Science events! We will be hosting our fifth Soapbox Science event on Saturday 23rd of June 2018. Our soapboxes will once again be in the 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 2017 video.


Details of the location and timing of the event

Date:  Saturday 23rd June 2018

Address: City Centre, Oxford Street, SA1 3AE

Time: 12pm – 3pm




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

Ms Carmen Sanchez-Garcia (@CSGsoil), Swansea University “Things are heating up! Is the answer to climate change right beneath our feet?”

Dr Denny Vitasari, Aberystwyth UniversityBubbles make the world go round”

Dr Emma Hayhurst, University of South Wales “Evil genius: how do we create (and kill) SuperBugs?”

Dr Jennifer Rudd (@jruddchemist), Swansea University “Converting carbon dioxide into the fuel of the future”

Dr Kirsty Meldrum (@krsty23), Swansea University “The importance of developing animal-free models to test the effects everyday nanoparticles have on the lungs” 

Miss Sara Hamis (@SaraHamis_Maths), Swansea University “A Mathematical Fortune Teller”

Miss Sara Lairah Mugabo, Swansea University “Rheology – Everything flows “

Dr Sara M. E. Rassner (@SaraRassner), Aberystwyth University “Bacteria living deep underground help us remove CO2 from the atmosphere’”

Dr Victoria Lovett (@VictoriaLovett), Swansea University “Video games and the brain”

Dr Zari Tehrani (@Tehranizari), Swansea University “Monitoring Diseases by Printed Sensors”

Ms Mihaela Barbu (@midmb), Swansea University “The use of computers in randomized clinical trials”

Dr Wendy Harris (@WendyEHarris) , Swansea University “Insects: Love them, hate them, can’t live without them”


We could not run this Swansea event without the generous logistical and financial support of our sponsors.

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 Chemistry has pledged sponsor support for the event and five of the speakers of Soapbox Science Swansea 2018. 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.

SPECIFIC will sponsor Soapbox Science Swansea and two of its speakers (Dr Zari Tehrani and Ms Sara Mugabo). 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.

The AthenaSWAN teams of the Swansea University Medical School and the College of Human and Health Science’s Department of Psychology will support sponsor Soapbox Science Swansea and three of its speakers (Mihaela Barbu, Kirsty Meldrum, and Dr Victoria Lovett). These colleges became the first departments within the University to achieve an Equality Challenge Unit Athena SWAN Charter Silver Award via championing advancement of gender equality in terms of representation, progression and success for all.

The Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE) will support two speakers: Dr Sara Rassner, who is a post-doctoral research fellow in our Geo-Carb-Cymru cluster, and Dr Emma Hayhurst who is a NRN-LCEE Returning Fellow. 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.

The EU H2020 project Physiologically Anchored Tools for Realistic nanomaterial hazard aSsessment (PATROLS) will support speaker Kirsty Meldrum, who is a Research Assistant on the project. PATROLS is an international project combining a team of academics, industrial scientists, government officials and risk assessors to deliver advanced and realistic tools and methods for nanomaterial safety assessment. PATROLS aims to provide an innovative and effective set of laboratory techniques and computational tools to more reliably predict potential human and environmental hazards resulting from engineered nanomaterial (ENM) exposures. These tools will minimise the necessity of animal testing and will support future categorisation of ENMs in order to support safety frameworks.