SoapboxScience 2014 London

Soapbox Science (50 of 79)On the 29th of June 2014, 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 still the same: to help eliminate gender inequality in science by raising the profile, and challenging the public’s view, of women and science.


Details of the location and timing of the event

Date: Sunday 29th June 2014
Address: Queen’s Stone, Riverside walkway (by
Gabriel’s Wharf), South Bank, London, SE1 9PP
Time: 12pm – 3pm



2014 saw strong competition to appear at this London’s event with over 40 applications received. The winners and their discussion topics included:

Professor Eleanor Highwood, University of Reading “When smoke gets in your skies: the effect of atmospheric aerosols on weather and climate”

Dr Priya Kalia, King’s College London “Putting Humpty Dumpty together again” 

Dr. Suchitra Sebastian, Lecturer and Royal Society University Research Fellow in Physics at University of Cambridge “Levitating trains: the magic of superconductors”

Dr Pola Goldberg Oppenheimer, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham “Nanotechnology: no small matter”

Dr Louise Janna Johnson, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading  “Life finds a way! How bacteria bounce back from a breakdown”

Dr Natasha Stephen, Research Associate, The Natural History Museum, London & Imperial College London Why are we studying Mars and would you want to go?!”

Dr. Erin Heerey, Senior lecturer at Bangor University “Six secrets of social behavior”

Dr Sarah Durant, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology Getting up to speed on cheetahs”

Listen to Sarah’s podcast here

Dr Yvette Hancock, Department of Physics, University of York “Ellie the Electron’s Life in the Quantum World

Dr Jennifer Bizley, University College London Ear Institute “On the difference between hearing and listening”

Dr Deirdre Hollingsworth, University of Warwick “Why do we need maths to help us control infectious diseases in developing countries?”

Dr. Isabel Pires, Lecturer in Biomedical Science and Group Leader University of Hull “Why cancer cells don’t choke in low oxygen

Watch Isabel’s podcast here


Discover our 2014 speakers

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rmets_medThe Royal Meteorological Society sponsored Professor Eleanor Highwood, from the University of Reading. The Royal Meteorological Society is the UK’s Professional and Learned Society for weather and climate.  It plays a key role as the custodian of both the science and the profession of meteorology in the UK and has an important role to play internationally as one of the world’s largest meteorological Societies. The Society’s mission is to advance the understanding of weather and climate, the science and its applications, for the benefit of all.  This is a wide remit that looks to broaden peoples’ understanding, interest and enthusiasm in meteorology, whether they are research scientists, amateurs, practitioners or professional meteorologists or members of the general public. It goes further, promoting the development of high-quality science, the next generation of scientists, and our practitioner community.  That is promoting professional development of individuals, accrediting organisations and further and higher education courses, encouraging meteorology as a career and helping develop the market for high-quality weather and climate services, both of which are strongly linked (as the Society is) to oceanography and hydrology in particular.  Promoting professional development includes strengthening and diversifying the applications of meteorology for the protection of life and property, for public and policy work and across business sectors.  The Society is owned by its membership, but exists for the benefit of all.


LondonMaterialsSocietyThe London Materials Society (LMS) sponsored Dr Priya Kalia, from King’s College London. LMS is a local society of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining. The society meets regularly to discuss every aspect of Materials from Ice Cream manufacture to the recent nanotechnology developments! They are open to the public and free of charge. “Like” our Facebook page to be kept up-to-date about LMS activities.


University of Hull logoThe University of Hull sponsored Dr Isabel Pires. The University was originally established as University College Hull in 1927, before becoming England’s fourteenth university upon the grant of a Royal Charter in 1954. Today the University is a vibrant and ambitious institution with more than 16,000 students from over 100 countries. Its six faculties offer teaching and research across a wide range of disciplines, including health, business, social sciences, the performing arts, education, science and engineering. The University’s research has helped shape the world through ground-breaking discoveries such as stable liquid crystals – now used worldwide in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for smartphones, computer screens and televisions – and the first ultrasound scanner for detection of osteoporosis. Its alumni are another source of far-reaching influence, and can be found in positions of responsibility in a wide range of fields across the globe. The University prides itself on providing an outstanding student experience. 90% of its students were satisfied with the quality of their course overall according to the 2013 National Student Survey, a score which puts the University in equal tenth place out of mainstream English higher education institutions. Its Students’ Union was crowned Higher Education Students’ Union of the Year at the National Union of Students Awards 2012.