A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Laboratory: Science and Standup Comedy

I’m doing a couple more science-comedy things over the next week or so (GeekShowoff on July 15th http://www.wegottickets.com/event/281372, Bright Club July 23rd http://www.brightclub.org/), so thought it might be interesting to re-post thoughts from the last show I did…


A couple of years ago I accidentally found myself outside the Royal Society, Britain’s 400-year old elite scientific society.  I decided to pop in and say hello.  Unfortunately, my ambitions were thwarted by a receptionist asking if I was entering as a Fellow or the guest of a Fellow.  I was neither, and ‘I like science’ apparently wasn’t an appropriate substitute.  I was barred entry.  But, with my eyes flashing and foreboding orchestral music playing in the background, I swore that I would return.  And, last Friday, I finally got that opportunity.  Unexpectedly this came not from my interest in science, but rather my second major interest – comedy.  I was performing as part of ScienceShowoff which, similarly to the Bright Club, provides opportunities for academics to communicate their work via a 9-minute live performance.1  They’re essentially academic open-mic nights, and as such the boundaries between lecture…

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