Three Open University soapbox scientists in their lab coats

Soapbox Science: Raising the profile of women in science

A trio of female scientists from the OU will be sharing their love of science at the first ever Milton Keynes Soapbox Science event.

Claire Batty, a researcher; Dr Julia Cooke, a lecturer in ecology; and PD researcher Vibha Srivastava will each 'stand on their soapboxes' at Middleton Hall at thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes from 2pm to 5pm this Saturday 9th July and talk about ‘sniffing’ for diseases, ingenious plant survival strategies and 3D printing buildings on the Moon (see the videos below to find out what the scientists will be talking about).

Launched in 2011 on the Southbank in London, Soapbox Science transforms public spaces into hubs of scientific learning, where female scientists showcase science to the general public in a bid to ‘eliminate gender inequality in science by raising the profile of women and science'.

Simple science

This Saturday, the OU trio will be joined by fellow scientists from Cranfield University, the University of Buckingham, the University of Leicester, the University of Northampton and Rothamsted Research.

Lecturer in Ecology at the OU, Dr Julia Cooke, said: “We will be standing on a box and talking about science. No complicated presentations, equipment, or laboratories; just women talking about the science that fascinates us, inspires, and that we advance every day!

Cartoon scientists are all too often men with big white hair and thick glasses. In reality, it is the diversity in scientists that leads to the diversity of discoveries, and women play a big part in that.

Organiser of the Milton Keynes Soapbox Science event, and soil scientist at Cranfield University, Dr Jacqueline Hannam, said: “We want everyone to have the opportunity to connect with science and these events provide the space for members of the public to interact with, and be inspired by, some of the leading female scientists in the UK.”