Volcanoes, equations and maggots: Soapbox Scientists set to hit Swansea

Volcanoes, equations and maggots will be amongst the diverse range of topics tackled by the top women scientists in Wales as they take to their soapboxes to promote the female face of science at this summer’s Soapbox Science at Swansea University.

Soapbox ScienceOn Saturday 5 July from 11 am to 3 pm, the Soapbox Science scientists will set up shop outside the 360 Beach and Watersport Centre on Swansea seafront, and make it a hub for scientific debate, bringing their science to the cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, and families out for a walk in the Bay in an accessible, fun and approachable way.

It will be the first time that the pioneering event, which aims to challenge traditional science stereotypes and take science direct to the public, will be at Swansea. 

Speakers at the event will represent a range of disciplines, including physics, mathematics, geography, micro-biology, psychology, medicine and bioscience and work in many settings including academia, education, government and business.

Amongst the speakers will be Professor Julie Williams Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, who will be discussing what genes can reveal about dementia, while Swansea University’s Professor Siwan Davies will be leading a talk entitled ‘Explosive, unpredictable, microscopic but powerful’ which shows how tiny pieces of volcanic ash can help us to understand the climate of the past. 

Speakers from Swansea University will include:

Speakers from other Welsh universities who will be at the event include Dr Kami Koldewyn of Bangor University who will discuss how brain imaging can help understanding of autism and Nia Blackwell of Aberystwyth University who will be exploring coal and iron mining waste bioremediation.

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, a Microbiologist and Pro Vice Chancellor of Swansea University said: “Swansea has a rich industrial heritage and history of engineering and science, while Swansea University is at the forefront of science and technology innovation which will develop further in the future with the opening of the Bay Campus next year.

“I hope that Soapbox Science will give everyone who passes by the chance to enjoy, learn from, heckle, question, probe, interact with and be inspired by some of our leading scientists. These remarkable women will amaze with their discoveries and I’m sure that everyone will enjoy hearing them talk about what fascinates them, and why they think they have the most fantastic job in the world!’

See: a full list of speakers and topics please visit: http://soapboxscience.org/?page_id=825

Hear: the Soapbox Science team talk about the event on BBC Wales Science Cafe  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b046xrdx