This past Saturday (luckily a few days before the UK hit the hottest temperatues on record), I participated in Nottingham’s Soapbox Science event. Soapbox Science is a public outreach programme that promotes the science of women and non-binary scientists by giving them a literal soapbox from which they can share their research with the general public. My soapbox was entitled “Good germs, bad germs: why we need microbes to be healthy”; while I couldn’t bring along any actual microbes for healthy & safety reasons, I brought some agar plates with my (limitly skilled) artists rendition of what they would look like if we had let them grow on the plates.
It was so rewarding to field a wide range of questions from passers by, and to make children squarm with the idea of culturing the bacteria in faeces. I was one of 12 speakers split into 3 time slots across the (very warm) afternoon. It was inspiring to visit their soapboxes and to learn about such a wide-range of STEM research topics being undertaken at University campuses in and surrounding the city of Nottingham.
A huge thank you to the organizers, volunteers, and the passers by who took time out of their day to make this event possible!
Nottingham’s event was held at the iconic Speakers’ Corner, the first Speakers’ Corner to open outside of London. To learn more about Soapbox Science, it’s history, and how you can get involved in events all around the world, check out their website. To learn more about Nottingham’s Soapbox Science events (past and present), check out their facebook page.