On the 5th of July 2013, 12-3pm, London’s Southbank was transformed again into a hub of scientific learning and discussion, as some of the UK’s leading female scientists took to their soapboxes to showcase science to the general public. The event’s mission was simple: to help eliminate gender inequality in science by raising the profile, and challenging the public’s view, of women and science. 2013 saw strong competition to appear at the event with over 70 applications received. The winners and their discussion topics included:

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Professor of Microbiology at University of Swansea “From gums to bums, bacteria through the body”

Discover her 2013 podcast

Dr Cath Waller, Lecturer in Marine Biology & Ecology at University of Hull  “Life at the bottom of the world” 

Watch her podcast here

Professor Jane K Hill, Professor in Biology at University of York “It’s great up north! – species move to track climate warming”

Watch her podcast here 

Dr Emily Cross, Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at University of Bangor “What does it take to Strictly Come Dancing? How our brains learn and perceive complex movement”

Watch her podcast here 

Julie Dunne, PhD student in Archaeological science at University of Bristol  “Milking it – how small molecules from ancient pots tell us when humans first started dairying”

Watch her video here 

Professor Laura Piddock, Professor of Microbiology at University of Birmingham “Antibiotic resistance and why we need new treatments”

Watch her in action here 

Dr. Maria Grazia Vigliotti, Senior Research Associate in Computer Science at Imperial College “Be aware! Computing is everywhere!”

Dr Zoe Schnepp, Fellow in Chemistry Department at University of Birmingham Superconducting seaweed (an adventure in green nanotechnology)

Dr Sabrina Maniscalco, Reader in Physics at Heriot-Watt University Playing the Quantum Computer Game”

Dr Ravinder Kanda, Research associate in Paleovirology and Genomics, department of Zoology at The University of Oxford “Genome Invaders: Friend or foe?”

Dr Maria Ocampo-Hafalla, Principal Scientific Officer at Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute “Lord of the cohesin rings: protecting the blueprint for life”

Jassel Majevadia, PhD student, Departments of Physics, Materials, and Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London Crack! Why hydrogen is a menace inside metals”

In 2013, the British Ecological Society (BES), the Society for General Microbiology (SGM), the Francis Crick Institute and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) decided to sponsor some of our speakers, namely Prof Jane Hill, Dr Cath Waller, Prof Hilary Lappin-Scott, Maria Ocampo-Hafalla and Prof. Laura Piddock.

The vision of the British Ecological Society is to advance ecology and make it count. The Society was established in 1913 and has approximately 4,000 members worldwide, and membership is open to all with an interest in ecology. The BES’s many activities include the publication of a range of scientific literature, the organisation and sponsorship of a wide variety of meetings, the funding of numerous grant schemes, education work and policy work. The BES also runs a mentoring scheme for women in ecology, believing that better retention of women in ecology will lead to the creation of a more diverse, stimulating and talented research community, in an inclusive and positive working environment.

The Society for General Microbiology 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.

The Francis Crick Institute will be an interdisciplinary medical research institute. Its work will help understand why disease develops and find new ways to prevent and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases. By bringing together scientists from all disciplines, it will not only help to improve people’s lives but will also keep the UK at the forefront of innovation in medical research, attract high-value investment, and strengthen the economy. The Francis Crick Institute is a consortium of six of the UK’s most successful scientific and academic organisations — the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London. The Francis Crick Institute is a registered charity. The organisations in the consortium will invest a total of around £650 million to establish the Institute and to ensure that it is resourced to make a major impact when it opens in 2015. When it is fully operational, The Francis Crick Institute will employ 1,500 staff, including 1,250 scientists. By combining specialist knowledge, expertise and resources from each of these organisations, The Francis Crick Institute will encourage ground-breaking research across a range of scientific disciplines and help make sure that laboratory discoveries are turned into treatments as quickly as possible.

The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) is an inter-professional organisation with 40 years of experience and achievement in antibiotic education, research and leadership and is dedicated to saving lives through appropriate use and development of antibiotics now and in the future.  BSAC  publishes the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the leading international journal in its field, and leads Antibiotic Action, a UK led global initiative that seeks to ensure effective antibiotics are researched, discovered and developed for all who need them.  The Society engages with a wide range of stakeholders to improve and promote understanding of antimicrobials, including peer organisations, parliamentarians, policy-makers, students and healthcare trainees, scientists, researchers and journalists. For further information on BSAC and its activities please visit www.bsac.org.uk