Soapbox Science in Cardiff
14 June 2016
This year saw Soapbox Science come to the streets of Cardiff for the first time. Soapbox science is a public outreach program designed to promote women scientists and the work they do. Speakers who take part in the event simply stand on their soapbox to deliver scientific talks to the general public, aiming to make science fun, encouraging people from all backgrounds to take an interest in science, and helping to break down gender stereotypes and provide positive female role models.
It’s important to show the public the diversity in the STEM workforce – times are changing and we are certainly not all conforming to the old stereotype of bearded, fuzzy haired old men in lab coats
The event took place on Hill Street in the city centre of Cardiff on Saturday 4th June, and was very well attended with almost 10,000 people venturing into the Soapbox Science area. A total of 12 speakers from Universities across Wales took part in the event, with 9 speakers from Cardiff University.
Dr Hayley Wyatt from the School of Mathematics delivered a talk, titled ‘Structures within nature and modern engineering applications’. This talk was based on the research currently being undertaken by Dr Angela Mihai and Dr Hayley Wyatt within the School of Mathematics, and discussed cellular structures, giving examples found within nature, and using aluminium honeycomb and silicone structures to demonstrate their many applications. This project is in collaboration with Professor Sam Evans from the School of Engineering.
The event also received wide spread local media coverage, including appearing on Made in Cardiff TV, Heart FM and the Western Mail taking an interest in the event.
Soapbox Science speaker, Hayley Wyatt (pictured as she delivered her presentation), said ‘I was very nervous before taking part in the event as it was so unlike anything I had ever done before. Taking part in the event was an awesome experience, and I was really surprised by how many people stopped and listened to the talks. Hopefully Soapbox Science will return to Cardiff next year, and if it does I highly recommend getting involved or talking if you have the chance, so much fun!’
Dr Hayley Wyatt is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on the EPSRC project 'Limit Analysis of Collapse States in Cellular Solids'' (EP/M011992/1) led by Dr Angela Mihai (Cardiff School of Mathematics).