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Bringing science to the seaside: Soapbox Science returns to Brighton

A call has now gone out for a team of volunteers to help assist the scientists at Soapbox Science 2019.

Twelve scientists will be entertaining beachgoers with interactive short talks on their research expertise at the third Soapbox Science event in Brighton.

Passers-by can expect to explore dark matter, particle accelerators, the brain, the Andes and lots more on Saturday 1 June 2019, between 11am and 2pm.

Organiser Dr Katy Petherick, Public Engagement Coordinator in the School of Life Sciences, said: “Each year our speakers display a wonderful array of science on the seafront, with previous talks featuring bee costumes, giant rubber ducks and paddling pools. We are especially pleased to be featured as part of Brighton Fringe, helping us to attract an even more diverse audience this year.”

A call has now gone out for a team of volunteers to help assist the scientists on the day.

Volunteers play a crucial role in attracting beachgoers to the Soapbox talks, assisting scientists with any props, handing out goodies to lucky audience members and gathering feedback data to help monitor the success of the event.

Fiona Scott, a PhD researcher at the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre, said: “I really enjoyed volunteering at Soapbox last year. It was great to hear about so many different flavours of science and I’m thrilled I’m getting to stand on one of the soapboxes this year to share my love of chemistry and baking with the masses on Brighton seafront.”

Soapbox Science, which launched in London in 2011, aims to celebrate women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Medicine), break down barriers and challenge the image of a stereotypical STEMM researcher.

Soapbox Science events are now hosted across the world, with Soapbox Science Brighton alumna Oyinkan Adesakin from the School of Life Sciences helping to set up the first event in Lagos, Nigeria.

The University of Sussex is the host institution for Soapbox Science Brighton, providing volunteers, logistical and financial support.

The line-up for Soapbox Science Brighton 2019:

  • Fiona Scott, Sussex Drug Discovery Centre, University of Sussex, “Medicinal Chemistry vs. BakeOff”
  • Maggie Lieu, The European Space Agency, “Why dark matter matters”
  • Laura Evenstar, University of Brighton, “Why are the Andes SOOooooo crazily, mind boggling High?”
  • Sophie Bashforth, Royal Holloway, University of London, “How particle accelerators can save your life!”
  • Gillian Forrester, Birkbeck, University of London, “Your 500 Million Year Old Brain”
  • Stella Manoli, University of Southampton, “Light my way”
  • Dori Grijseels, University of Sussex, “How your brain knows where you are?”
  • Francesca Hearn-Yeates, University of Sussex, “Antibiotic Resistance in Gonorrhoea!”
  • Aline da Silva Cerqueira, Institute of Zoology of the Zoological Society of London, King’s College London and the London NERC DTP, “The sounds seabirds make at sea and why we should listen to them”
  • Rosanna Barnard, University of Sussex, “Networks: how mathematical graphs can protect us from epidemics”
  • Shobita Bhumbra, University of Sussex, “Quantum Physics – The coolest thing in the universe (…as far as we know)”
  • Daniela Maria Kock, University of Sussex, “Uncovering the dark parts of the universe”

For more information, visit the Soapbox Science website.

Volunteer for Soapbox Science Brighton


By: Jessica Gowers
Last updated: Thursday, 25 April 2019

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