our mission

About Soapbox Science …..

“Soapbox Science’s” purpose is to link women scientists and the general public in order to foster a culture of shared knowledge, and we promote connections with event participants and the larger community in a helpful and mutually beneficial manner.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

what?

Soapbox Science is a public outreach platform that highlights women in science and their research. Science and society thrive on a symbiotic relationship in which one’s efforts benefit the other, and we want for this symbiotic relationship to evolve during this event. We aim to encourage scientists to utilise non-traditional methods to communicate their discoveries to the general audience. Typically, presenters produce materials at home to discuss the methods used in their research.

To put things in context, Soapbox Science was founded in the United Kingdom in 2011 by Seirian Sumner and Nathalie Pettorelli, inspired by London Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner, with the objective of promoting public scientific dialogues while also supporting women in STEM. Since then, the event has taken place in 58 cities in 14 countries in the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Because of the outbreak, many of these public activities have been cancelled or postponed in the last two years, or have been shifted to internet platforms.

why?

STEM Sisters believes it is vital to offer STEM women from underrepresented nations the opportunity to exhibit their scientific talents and share their great cutting-edge research trips. This further enhances our communities by making science more approachable, particularly to young children. These platforms allow us to highlight the importance of science and capture the attention of people from all walks of life.

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where?

STEM Sisters intends to organise Soapbox Science on Melbourne’s local streets during National Science Week, which runs from August 13th to August 21st.

our history

Since 2011, Soapbox Science has featured over 1500 scientists and reached over 150,000 people! In 2015, the UK Prime Minister complimented Soapbox Science, and in June 2016, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) gave it a Silver Medal. To which Soapbox Science co-founders were also invited to give oral testimony at a Parliamentary enquiry into science communication in 2016.

Due to the obvious problems associated with the COVID-19 epidemic and the constraints that resulted, Soapbox science was unable to take to the streets of busy cities in 2020 and 2021. Despite the limited movement, Soapbox Science was able to shift its live activities online, with Sydney, Australia hosting one of several online events across the world.

The 2020 online event in Sydney was a huge success, with 12 academics gathering across four evenings during national science week to explain the most recent scientific results while also taking questions from the audience.

Similar to the success of Sydney’s event outcome, STEM Sisters want to collaborate with Soapbox Science to offer the inaugural Soapbox Science Melbourne event in 2022. The event is a free, interactive public event exhibiting cutting-edge Australian research conducted by 12 incredible female experts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas.

Acknowledgment of Country

STEM Sisters, recognises and respects the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Boonwurrung, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri of the Kulin who are the traditional owners of  land in Victoria.

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