Geeks on stage: Science Show-off challenges Manchester’s bravest boffins to impress in open mic night

Science geeks, boffins and even comics are being invited to an open mic night like no other – where you can be as technical and nerdy as you like.

The Science Show-off, to be hosted at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) on October 24, is a science-based open mic night.

Performers have just nine minutes to show off their science in any chosen way – which could mean poetry, comedy, acting, interpretive dance… or something stranger.

The organisation, started by self-proclaimed geek, comedian, presenter and producer Dr Steve Cross, runs nationwide aiming to raise money for a number of different local charities.

Dr Cross told MM: “The project is important in order to democratize who can talk about science – we’re trying to give a chance for those other than the few on TV.

“We also want to create a community of local scientists who can create new projects, bringing together people who are interested in similar things but haven’t had the chance to meet yet.”

The event at Manchester Science Festival will raise money for MOSI’s community outreach projects.

Science Show-off began three years ago and the first gig was held in September 2011.

Starting life as Bright Club, a project which encourages university researchers of all fields to try stand-up comedy, Dr Cross found that many science teachers, fans, and communicators were interested in trying out the project and the alternative, Science Show-Off, was born.

It now tours the UK, promising to enthrall their audiences with facts and equations with 10 acts each evening.

Dr Cross was awarded an honorary fellowship to the British Science Association earlier this month for his work encouraging scientists to make their work more engaging to the general public.

He has performed everywhere from The Barbican Theatre to Green Man Festival and described Manchester as a really funny place.

“It’s the best city in the UK on every scientific measure,” he said. “And they’re brave enough to put us on at the weekend, in a town that loves to party!”

Those currently interested in featuring on the evening’s bill include a blogger with an interest in cosmetic science, a science fan with a large selection of fake ray gun, and Sheena Cruickshank, a lecturer in immunology at Manchester University.

The event will be part of the city wide Manchester Science Festival which, now in its eighth year, runs from October 23 November 2.

This is the second gig to have taken place in Manchester, the first being at last year’s Science Festival where every seat was filled and more than 150 people squeezed into MOSI entrance hall.

Dr Cross said: “I was born in Stockport, this is a local gig, it won’t be London lecturing the North, it will be Manchester talking to Manchester.”

The show will begin at 6.30pm and run until 10.00pm on Friday October 24. 

Image courtesy of Science Show-off, with thanks.

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