Soapbox Science drops into the shopping centre at Milton Keynes this weekend

The three Soapbox Science lecturers from Cranfield University
The three Soapbox Science lecturers from Cranfield University

The appliance of science is coming to thecentre:mk with an event which champions female scientists.

This innovative event will transform thecentre:mk to a centre for public learning and scientific debate on Saturday (July 9).

Soapbox Science delivers science directly to the public, where passers-by can meet female scientists and find out about their fascinating research. It champions women in science because they are under-represented in many disciplines, especially at senior positions. The all-female line-up hopes to inspire young people, as well as informing everyone about science in an engaging way.

This is the first time Soapbox Science has come to Milton Keynes.The programme consists of 12 scientists from Cranfield University, the Open University, the University of Buckingham, the University of Northampton, Rothamstead Research and the University of Leicester.

There are no lectures – scientists will present their ideas directly to the public through short interactive activities and discussions. You can find them standing on top of a specially-built soapbox in Middleton Hall in thecentre:mk from 2-5pm on the day.

The scientists will be sharing the latest innovations in their fields so you can find out about space science, psychological insight, good microbes, food technology and much more.

Dr Jacqueline Hannam, a soil scientist from Cranfield University, is organising the event. She said: “We’re really pleased and excited to be bringing Soapbox Science to Milton Keynes. With several world-class universities, as well as a number of science and engineering businesses in the area, MK has a wealth of talent to draw upon.

Hopefully the public will be as excited by the cutting-edge research being undertaken locally as we are.”

Iain Stewart, MP for MK South, and the Deputy Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor David Hopkins, are expected to lend their support to Soapbox Science during the afternoon.

Beverley Lumsdon, a spokesman for thecentre:mk, said: “Middleton Hall has a long track record of hosting unique and engaging events for our

shoppers. We are therefore delighted to welcome this year’s Soapbox Science MK event to Middleton Hall.”

This event is part of a nationwide initiative by Soapbox Science, which aims to bring science to the people and challenge gender stereotypes in science careers. Soapbox Science events are part funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Carpentry for the soapboxes has been generously donated by PJL Carpentry in Milton Keynes, with the event also being supported by Cranfield University and The British Society of Soil Science.

To find out more and to see the programme, visit www.soapboxscience.org, the Soapbox Science MK blog https://mksoapboxscience.wordpress.com/