Women take science to the streets of Swansea to challenge gender stereotypes

Swansea University will be hosting its fifth Soapbox Science event later this month, bringing 12 inspirational female scientists to the streets of Swansea to share their research, engage the public, and inspire the next generation of scientists.

The free event, which will be held in Oxford Street between 12pm - 3pm on Saturday 23 June, aims to raise the profile and challenge the public’s view of women in science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine (STEMM).

The Swansea event is one of 17 Soapbox Science events going on in the UK, with international events taking place in Canada, Australia, Italy, and Germany.

This year, the event will feature scientists from Swansea, South Wales, and Aberystwyth Universities, as well as the West Wales Organisation for Rigorous Trials in Health.

Soapbox Science 2016

Scientists at the 2016 Soapbox Science event in Swansea's Oxford Street

Dr Wendy Harris, senior lecturer in biosciences, will discuss why insects are so important, and will have giant live insects on display for the audience to experience. Dr Victoria Lovett, a senior lecturer in psychology, will examine the emotional and developmental impact video games have on children, and Dr Denny Vitasari from Aberystwyth University will reveal how bubbles make the world go round.

With speakers ranging from PhD students to professors, Soapbox Science represents the full spectrum of the academic career path, and gives speakers themselves the chance to meet and network with other women in science. 

Event organiser, Dr Geertje van Keulen of Swansea University, said: “Soapbox science is bringing science and technology to the general public in areas where you least expect it. Our top female researchers from Wales will passionately discuss their work with the audience and in particular those who would not otherwise go to scientific events or open days. As such, we aim to challenge traditional science stereotypes. The topics are so diverse, everyone will find something of interest to hear about or want to try themselves for the first time”.

The talks at the event will be on the following topics:

  • The importance of developing animal-free models to test the effects everyday nanoparticles have on the lungs - Kirsty Meldrum, Swansea University
  • Converting carbon dioxide into the fuel of the future - Dr Jennifer Rudd, Swansea University
  • Things are heating up! Is the answer to climate change right beneath our feet? - Ms Carmen Sanchez-Garcia, Swansea University
  • Evil genius: how do we create (and kill) SuperBugs? - Dr Emma Hayhurst University of South Wales
  • The use of computers in randomized clinical trials - Mihaela Barbu, WWORTH
  • Bacteria living deep underground help us remove CO2 from the atmosphere - Dr Sara M. E. Rassner, Aberystwyth University
  • A mathematical fortune-teller - Sara Hamis, Swansea University
  • Bubbles make the world go round - Dr Denny Vitasari, Aberystwyth University
  • Rheology - Everything flows - Sara Lairah Mugabo, Swansea University  
  • Monitoring Diseases by printed sensors - Dr Zari Tehrani, Swansea University
  • Video games and the brain - Dr Victoria Lovett, Swansea University
  • Insects: Love them, hate them, can’t live without them – Dr Wendy Harris, Swansea University

More information is available from the Soapbox Science website.

Soapbox Science Swansea is part-funded by the Royal Society for Chemistry and Swansea University’s SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre, Department of Psychology, and the Medical School AthenaSWAN team.