Soapbox Science help kick off Family Festival

Volcanoes, computer coding, the dark side of the Universe - and cows! This diverse range of research topics wll be shared by female scientists with the people of Swansea as Soapbox ScienceĀ® helps to kick off the British Science Festival (BSF) Family Weekend.

Soapbox Science 2016The Soapbox Science team will launch the event tomorrow (Saturday 10th September) from 11 am until 3 pm at the pedestrianized area of Oxford Street in Swansea’s city centre.

Presenters ranging from PhD students to professors and a consultant heart surgeon will be taking to their soapboxes throughout the day to talk about their research and promote the visibility and diversity of women in science and to challenge perceptions about who is a ‘typical scientist’ in the hope to influence girls from any background to follow a career in science.

This event is part of a nation-wide initiative by Soapbox Science, which aims to bring science to the people and challenge gender stereotypes in science careers. Soapbox Science events are part funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.




This year at Soapbox Science there will be chance to:

  • Catch critters via molecular footprints
  • Follow the journey of a single ash particle and its potential effect on the world.
  • Watch a fluid flow against gravity and turning into stone.
  • Learn Nature's secrets of algae for a healthy life

Swansea Soapbox Science organiser, Dr Geertje van Keulen of Swansea University said: “The Soapbox Science team are delighted to be a part of the British Science Festival Family Weekend. All events are open to the public, just walk up, free of charge, and great fun. Visitors can expect hands-on props, experiments and specimens, not to mention bags of passion and enthusiasm! Soapbox Science gives female scientists the much-needed boost to their visibility and profile they need to help achieve equality in science and helps to break down pre-conceptions of who a scientist is. We aim to inspire a new generation of girls into science irrespective of their background.”

‌The Family Weekend will be on 10th -11th September at Swansea Waterfront Museum and Marina and will feature more than 100 researchers on stalls, stands and in workshops alongside artists, performers and science communicators. 

The programme of speakers and topics are:

  • Professor Farah Bhatti (@DrFBE), Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board - “Everything you always wanted to know about heart surgery but was afraid to ask’
  • Dr Shirin Alexander, Swansea University -  “Superhydrophobic (waterproof) coating protects without the price”
  • Dr Jenny Baker (@JenPVTech), Swansea University - “From diamonds to graphite and everything in-between – which carbon is the most useful?”
  • Dr Julie Balen, University of Sheffield - “Why health is global and responsibility is shared”
  • Dr Susanne Claus (@SusanneClaus), Cardiff University - “The magic of non-Newtonian fluids: see a fluid flow against gravity and turning into stone”
  • Miss Elizabeth Evans (@E_E_Evans), Swansea University -  “Amazing ash! The journey of a single ash particle and its potential effect on the world”
  • Dr Rocio Hernandez, Swansea University -  “The role of remote sensing in forest health monitoring and early detection of forest health threats”
  • Dr Rachel Woods (@Rajal1066),Swansea University Materials Engineering for the Future’
  • Dr Jennifer Pearson, Swansea University ‘Human Computer Interactions’
  • Dr Sharon Huws (@sharonhuws), Aberystwyth University - “The role microbes play in cattle and sheep”
  • Professor Michelle Lee (@drmichlee), Swansea University - “How sensible is your brain?”
  • Mrs Hazel May Lockhart-Jones (@hazelmaycode), Swansea University - “How to code and collect data to be used for research / Sut i godio a chasglu data sydd i’w ddefnyddio ar gyfer ymchwil“
  • Miss Chloe Robinson (@cvrobinson92), Swansea University - “eDNA & Invasive species: catching critters via molecular footprints / eDNA a rhywogaethau ymledol: Dal creaduriaid drwy olion traed moleciwlaidd   ”
  • Dr Alla Silkina (@AllaSilkina1), Swansea University - “Nature’s secrets of algae for healthy life: cosmetic, pharma, food and feed applications”
  • Dr Yuqin Wang, Swansea University - “Cholesterol metabolisms in human health and disease“
  • Dr Ivonne Zavala, Swansea University - “The Dark Side of the Universe“