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Mike Takes to the Mic

2 December 2010

Mike Ward was one of several university researchers and lecturers  who have revealed the lighter side of academic life by trying their hand at stand up comedy as part of a new University-led project.

Bright Club Wales is a new initiative run by the Beacon for Wales and is the first event of its kind in Wales. Academics from Cardiff and Glamorgan universities took to the stage to talk about their work in an interesting and entertaining way.

The event was held at Ten Feet Tall in the city centre on Monday 29 November and was compared by Cardiff graduate and comedian Dean Burnett. Bright Club is an attempt to bring university work to a new audience, to go beyond those who turn up at public lectures to people who might not have considered how research can play a part in their lives.

Academics who took part included:

Dr Keir Waddington, of the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion who looked at ‘off sick’; Michael Ward, of the University’s School of Social Sciences who talked about working with young men in the Welsh valleys; and Fizzy McPhysics (stage name) who builds sensors for satellites.

The concept for The Bright Club originated at University College London where it has been running since early 2009 and has been seen since more than 1000 people. The event itself attracted around 70 paying guests and was a huge success.

Mike was interviewed on the Jamie and Louise show on Radio Wales before the event and appeared in an article in the Guardian after an interview with a journalist after it. Mike is quoted as saying: "I've always wanted to do it and thought standup would be a really good way to get my research out to a different audience, show people that academics don't just sit in universities, and make them laugh."

A link to the article in The Guardian and the Cardiff University website where some of the action can be viewed in action follow

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/dec/07/academics-public-engagement-comedy

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/articles/bright-club-wales-5815.html

First Bright Club Wales from Cardiff University on Vimeo.