Soapbox Science 2015 London

On the 30th of May 2015, 2-5pm, London’s Southbank will again be transformed into a hub of scientific learning and discussion, as some of the UK’s leading female scientists take to their soapboxes to showcase science to the general public.

The event’s mission remains the same: to help eliminate gender inequality in science by raising the profile, and challenging the public’s view, of women and science. If you’d like to see what Soapbox Science looks like in action, have a look at the Soapbox Science 2012 video


We couldn’t run this London event without the generous logistical and financial support of our sponsors. Our London events have been supported from the start by the L’Oreal UNESCO For Women In Science Scheme and the Zoological Society of London. Since 2014, our overall whole initiative is moreover supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Several of our speakers are then individually sponsored:

The Natural Environment Research Council is sponsoring Drs Jacqueline Hannam & Monika Bohm. The Natural Environment Research Council is the UK’s largest funder of independent environmental science, training and innovation, delivered through universities and research centres. Formed by Royal Charter in 1965, the Natural Environment Research Council marks its 50th anniversary in 2015. Throughout NERC’s Summer of Science, NERC researchers (such as Jacqueline and Monika) will be taking their work and enthusiasm out to the public, branching out from the usual science festival venues into shopping centres, music festivals, pubs and even beaches.

The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is sponsoring Dr Jacqueline Hannam. BSSS promotes the study and profession of soil science, acts as a forum for the exchange of ideas and provides a framework for representing the views of soil scientists to other organisations and decision making bodies. It promotes research by organising several conferences each year and by the publication of its two scientific journals, the European Journal of Soil Science, and Soil Use and Management. It promotes education through a number of initiatives aimed at schools, colleges and universities. Throughout the International Year of Soil the society is also supporting a number of additional educational and outreach events.

SEPnet (the South East Physics network) is sponsoring Dr Lucia Marchetti. SEPnet is a consortium of physics departments in nine universities, all working together to deliver excellence in physics. We’re leading the way with a fresh approach to collaboration, teaching and research. SEPnet Outreach has one primary vision: to bring the excitement, innovation and knowledge of physics to students, teachers and the public. Through events and activities delivered both jointly and by each of our partners, we promote and provide unprecedented access to physics in the South East of England and beyond.

The Society for General Microbiology (SGM) is sponsoring Dr Jessica Blair. SGM 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. It also 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.

Details of the location and timing of the event

Date: Saturday 30th May 2015

Address: Queen’s Stone, Riverside walkway (by
Gabriel’s Wharf), South Bank, London, SE1 9PP
Time: 2pm – 5pm


2015 saw strong competition to appear at this London’s event with over 35 applications received. The winners and their discussion topics included:

Dr Jessica Blair (@JessicaMABlair), Birmingham University “What is a ‘Superbug’? The crisis of Antibiotic Resistance (or why the drugs don’t kill the bugs!)” 

Dr Jacqueline Hannam (@Dirt_Science), Cranfield University “What lies beneath: how soils change in space and time”

Dr Joanna Barstow (@DrJoVian), University of Oxford “Finding Earth Mark Two: habitable worlds and how to search for them”

Professor Claire Grierson (@PR0FG), University of Bristol “Synthetic Biology – Designing Life”

Dr Monika Bohm (@MonniKaboom), Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London “Red Listing LIVE: why some species are more at risk of extinction than others – and why it matters”

Dr Lucia Marchetti (@Luci_aMarchetti), Open University “Gravitational lensing: a fundamental effect of nature that helps to understand the origin and the composition of our Universe

Dr Jo Pennock (@immunojo), Manchester University “A wormy world is Wonderful”

Miss Amy Edgington (@AmyEdg), University College London “Atoms: A Window into Space

Dr Lata Govada (@LGovada), Imperial College “Making complicated matters crystal clear

Dr Michelle Ma, King’s College London “Lighting up disease with new chemistry: whole body diagnostic imaging”

Miss Francesca Day (@FrancescaDay), University of Oxford “Hunting for new particles with physics fan fiction”

Dr Neha Pathak (@nxpathak), Queen Mary University “Peeing to prevent cancer: the secrets of your urine