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The event is free to all and will feature 12 female scientists explaining their work.

Free Soapbox Science talks in Exeter

Fish on painkillers, the power of tiny shrimps and late-night snacking by bumblebees are just some of the subjects on offer at this year's Soapbox Science in Exeter.

The event – from noon-3pm on Saturday 11 June at Piazza Terracina, Exeter Quayside – is free to attend and will feature 12 female scientists explaining their work.

The talks will be interactive and child-friendly, with questions welcome.

"We'll have four speakers each hour, trying to tempt the public to come and listen," said Dr Sariqa Wagley, one of the event's organisers.

"There's no PowerPoint, no sound systems – they only have their voices and some props to grab people's attention.

"Visitors can also move around the four talks during each hour, so there will be plenty to see and learn."

Commenting on the importance of the event, Dr Wagley said for some STEM-based subjects such as Physics and Maths it is hard to get equal numbers of males and females, while subjects such as the Biosciences are able to attract equal numbers of male and female students.

She said the problem for all STEM-based subjects is the gap between the number of women and men after the PhD level and beyond – and this gender gap widens at each stage of the academic career pathway.

"You can't be what you can't see! Soapbox Science is about improving the current representation of women in science and promoting female scientists who are doing brilliant research," Dr Wagley added.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to see these scientists talking about their research in a really passionate way."

Below is a list of the speakers – from the University of Exeter, the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory – and the titles of their talks:

  • Shayma Alathari: How to track viral outbreaks and help farmers in remote areas.
  • Rebekah Boreham: Fish on Painkillers: More Than a Headache.
  • Dr Muriel Bruckner: Why tiny shrimp can change our coasts.
  • Katy Chapman: Late night snacks: How do bumblebees gather food at sunset?
  • Dr Emma Edwards: Capturing renewable energy from the ocean.
  • Georgina Glover: Conquering the world by embracing diversity: no two bacteria cells are the same.
  • Dr Frances Hopkins: The smell of the sea, plankton, and climate change.
  • Dr Tina Joshi: Beat the bugs: How to tackle dangerous microbes.
  • Ailsa MacCalman: Pancreas development: It’s in your genes.
  • Dr Megha Mehta: Shining supernanoheroes! A bright future for diagnostics and healthcare.
  • Dr Sophie Nedelec: Commotion in the ocean: Traffic noise annoys coral reef fish.
  • Dr Mi Tian: Hydrogen: Fuel of future.

To find out more about the event and this year’s line-up, visit: or follow @SoapboxExeter on Twitter.

Date: 7 June 2022