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Soapbox Science 2018

On Saturday 16 June 2018 scientists from Newcastle University, Durham University and the University of York brought science to Grey’s Monument in Newcastle and engaged the public with their cutting-edge research. Topicsranged from animal behaviour and the ocean to rare diseases and diagnostics!

A fantastic team of volunteers from across the faculty and university engaged the public and helped to make the event a great success.

Please find some quotes from some of our scientists that took part on the day:

“Soapbox science was an exciting experience. At the training session I learnt how to communicate even dry and complex topics in an engaging way. It was really rewarding to see the interest of the audience, which also included people involved in the different aspects of my topic, such as patients, nurses etc. It was really interesting to hear their questions, especially as they were very different to what I expected.”
Dr Dorota Badowska, RD-Connect Science Communicator & Impact Co-ordinator, The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University

“I would say that I enjoyed being free from PowerPoint and it was really interesting to do engagement in a completely different way. It was challenging to think outside of the box but also gave me a lot of reward when it went well. Unlike a PowerPoint it was easy to adjust the level of my research to suit the youngest member of the audience or the crowd you had each time. I also loved making my pom-pom sheep and they were an interesting talking point for people coming over to me”
Beth Barnes, PhD Student, Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering, Newcastle University

“Soapbox Science in Newcastle was absolutely amazing. It was an exceptional opportunity where I could share my research with people and transfer my knowledge in a simple way. I enjoyed it when people engaged and asked questions regarding oxidation of the body. Such enthusiasm was fantastic. Being a lecturer is my dream. I am happy that Soapbox Science has enabled me to become one step closer to my goals.”
Behnaz Akbari, PhD student, Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering, Newcastle University

"Soapbox Science has been a great experience for me. I was a volunteer last year and this year I was a speaker. I enjoyed every bit from the training and the preparation of the props to speaking to two young girls about their doubts and curiosity about animal vision. For me, being able to bring the science that we do in the lab out in to the street is a way to give something back to the public. I hope that by talking to the crowd about science and how scientific progression affects their everyday life I inspired and motivated young people to pursue their interest and their parents to support them in doing so.

Soapbox Science is not only giving, I also gained a lot! I didn't want to get down off the soapbox at the end! It was great to see their faces light up with surprise during the animal vision quiz or when learning about the 3d cinema for mantids, and I remember how great and fun what we do is. Thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity. I'll keep this dear memory with me".
Dr Diana Umeton, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Insitute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University

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