“What happens if you put a few scientists on soapboxes on a busy street? We’ll tell you what happens: People who don’t usually think about science get to hear about it first hand, from scientists who don’t necessarily have shaggy beards and odd matching shoes, but who do know how to share their passion for experimentation, discovery and innovation. Soapbox Science is a grass-roots approach to taking science to the public. No fancy festivals; no stuffy lecture-theatres: just some of the world’s top women in science, a couple of silly props, a dash of summer showers, and lots of unsuspecting visitors. It’s street theatre with a difference. And we aim to make a difference!”
Sumner & Pettorelli, Soapbox Science Founders
Soapbox Science is a series of annual public science communication events that bring cutting-edge science to the public, in an accessible, fun, free and un-intimidating way. Unlike other science events, a ‘Soapbox’ audience will not have necessarily planned to come and learn about science – rather, they happen across a bunch of world-class scientists as they stroll down the streets! Because of this, the event is unique among science outreach ventures, in that it has the potential to inspire people who never normally get exposed to science. Moreover, it is accessible to anyone, irrespective of education or financial means. Finally, there cannot be a more ‘green’ and sustainable way of disseminating science and engaging with the public: there are no expensive exhibits, constructions, pavilions, props or speaker fees; it is highly portable, reproducible, and flexible in its theme. Soapbox Science is a next-generation science event: it is a sustainable, cost-effective, non-discriminatory approach to bringing science to the people.
Soapbox Science runs for 3 hours over an afternoon in public. The event is divided into one-hour sessions, with 4 speakers per session. Speakers stand on custom made “Soapbox Science” soapboxes, arranged in a semi-circle, facing slightly inwards, to facilitate the crowd’s movements. Our events enjoy substantial media coverage, including BBC, The Guardian, Time Out, The Times. We also receive great interest from the scientific community, with coverage in Nature, Science and New Scientist.
Want to find out more about events near you, apply to be a speaker or organise an event? visit our upcoming events page, or read about the story so far on our past events page. If you want to see what Soapbox Science looks like in action, take a look at our video
Soapbox Science uses an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome speaker applications from trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who for the purpose of this event feel comfortable being female-identified.