- In case you missed it
- Maths conference success!
- Big changes in 22 Gordon Square
- STS student wins Faculty Award
- STS Welcomes Dr Emma Tobin
- STS class of 2010 graduates
- BSHS awards ‘special commendation’
- Summer success of 199 and rising: Science communication workshops in Croatia
- STS Seminar Series Announced
- Where did our brain's go?
- Emma Tobin: philosophy with ice cream for STS’s new lecturer
- Doctor Doctor! A new PhD in STS
- What's in YOUR placebo?
- BJPS comes to STS
- Gold Medal for STSers in Synthetic Biology at MIT Competition
- Chiara shines at Bright Club
- STS IBSc Student Wins Prestigious H.A.B Simons Prize!
- new modules for next session
- Job Opportunity: Research Assistant (0.3 FTE)
- Meet STS's New Green Champion
- Finalists Speak Up! National Student Survey
- Europe's planetary scientists meet MEPs, thanks to STS student
- Bee Fayre a Success!
- Podcast: Gillies' recollections
- Mr Nicholson is Proud to Present...
- "All art is quite useless." Or not...
- Finalists Speak Up! National Student Survey
- ESRC doctoral fellowship available
- No Ordinary Space
- Prizes 2010-11
- OneBook selected for 2011
- Chiara mentioned in Faculty dispatch
- New appointment: Lecturer
- STS launches new medical modules
- New arrival - Dr Bill MacLehose
- Departure - Dr Jeremy Howick
- Winner - Research Fellowship
- STS student wins 2011 Faculty Medal
- The Secret Life of Plants
- “Music of the Stars” podcast released
- Call for Papers: 2011 Ancient Science Conference
- New Module! Revised Catalogue!
- Cain: Bright Club interview
- New Book: Successful Science Communication
- Bright Club sparkles with STS
- STS storms Dana Centre
- PhD success: David Teira
- PhD Student Joins Astronomers
- Leverhulme Grant for Network
- Careers Advice Worth Listening To!
- Agar makes an Impact
- Finalists! Have your say.
- STS wins award for engagement
- Massimi on BBC
- Students Meet Our Alumni
- Starter for 20(12)!
- Volunteers research in the news
- We are Sociology
- New Careers Podcast
- New Podcast: Turing Talk
- Bultitude Represents EU at AAAS
- Agar on the BBC
- Science in Public: Call For Papers
- Finalists! Completed the NSS yet?
- New STS Careers Podcast!
- Steve Miller On Top of the World
- New Book! New Podcast!
- Balmer interviewed by Spanish press
- Science In Public 2012: Call For Papers
- STS Big Idea Wins UCL Big Bucks
- New Careers Podcast
- Social Media Research: next steps agreed
- PhD student transcends physics
- Award Winning Website
- New Careers Podcast
- Balmer's book now online
- New Book Chapter
- STS Research Day
- Great results for STS students
- Representation Workshop makes an impact!
- UCL Social Media Project blog launches
- HPS workshop - smashing success
- Eye, See, You
- Women in Maths History
- New STS postcards
- 2012-13 Module Catalogue
- STS promotion
- STS student makes Dean's List
- Prize-winning students
- STS success hits YouTube
- Charles Laine: tragedy
- 2012 Graduation - Congratulations
- New Podcast Series: Thinking About Science
- STS seminar: Thomas Kuhn on Ancient Science
- Engaging Teachers in Gender-Aware Practice
- New Book! Managing Privacy Through Accountability
- New Careers Podcast
- University Challenge
- On the winning team!
- Going, Going, Ghent
- Higg's Boson Podcast!
- STS Staff and Students at Landmark Conference
- Philosophy of Medicine: New Article
- STS reunion plans - announced
- Ambrosio: Art and Science mix
- video: Miller talks about Chemical Cosmos
- Thinking About Science: Episode 4
- Video: Cosy Science with Steve Miller
- Praise for STS teaching
- Thinking About Science Episode 5
- New Careers Podcast!
- MSc student 'makes' news
- History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar Series 2012-13
- STS success at iBSc fair
- STS Lecturer at The House of Lords
- Grant success: Balmer on the History of Biological Weapons
- Histories of Scientific Experience
- Another Win for STS Student!
- Will The Geek Inherit the Earth?
- OCEANIC ENTERPRISE
- The Genius of Invention
- Thinking About Science: Episode 6
- Blog Winners Announced
- Finalists! Speak Up!
- BPPA Masterclass Success!
- MAPS students praise STS teaching
- STS research fellow in MRC Suffrage Science event
- Semi Final Ahoy!
- DEUS IN MACHINA
- Responsible Innovation in Europe
- STS Students Take Action
- Semi Final Challenge
- Science and Security Grant
- The Spanish Collaboration
- MATERIAL HISTORIES OF SCIENCE
- Vacancy: Senior Lecturer in Science Communication
- STS Students on the BBC
- Mechanisms & Causality Workshop
- National praise for Agar
- Conference Success
- Grant Success & Internship Opportunity
- Sites of Chemistry
- Nobel Debate in Nature
- MSc Application Deadline - 2nd August
- Book now for STS20 reunion
- Recognition for STS public engagement training
- 100 Hours
- STS Teaching Excellence Nominated for Award
- 3 STS staff promoted
- Spotlight on...ProfJoeCain
- Vacancies: Teaching Fellows
- A Science Fit for the Future?
- Steph McGovern to speak at MAPS Faculty Graduation Ceremony
- Vacancy: Teaching Fellow in Sociology of Technology
- STS PhD students publish
- 100 Hours: 25 Days To Go!
- Glassy Environments
- New Careers Podcast: Louis Stupple Harris.
- "quite simply the best"
- Responsible Innovation Article
- STS Summer Internships
- STS Research behind EPSRC Statement
- New book: Presocratics and the Supernatural
- Sleepwalking in Middle Ages
- UK citizen views on carbon capture and storage: new study
- PlosOne for Stilgoe: new paper
- MSc prize winner
- STS Alumnus Publishes Policy Report
- Prize winning dissertation
- Material Histories of Chemistry
- Light and Dark
- Emotions, Transformations, Restorations
- New paper: Helmholtz Club, Neuroscience and Francis Crick
- New scholarship for PhD studies
- STS PHD students shine
- Notes for brewing genius
- STS Goes Dutch
- Vacancy: Project Co-ordinator
- New Careers Podcasts
- Why should we promote public engagement with science?
- New Paper: The Science of Destruction:
- UCL Donors help fund a forgotten treatment for TB
- PhD Studentship: Making the Oceans Visible
- STS Prof in award-winning book
- Vacancy: Lecturer in Science Communication
- STS Prof Hits 4 Million
- Vacancy: Lecturer in Science & Technology Studies
- PhD Conference Review. September - January.
- 8th London Ancient Science Conference
- STS explores science on a pagan planet
The Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.
At UCL, the academic mission is paramount. Our ambition is to achieve the highest standards in our teaching and research.
Join us for BSc, MSc, and PhD study.
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Chiara shines at Bright Club
2 December 2010
Illuminating STS to the public eye
On 26th October, STS’s very own Chiara Ambrosio took to the stage of a sold out Bloomsbury theatre to both entertain and educate us through an original concoction of standup comedy and intellectual edification. This is the premise of Bright Club, a collaborative effort from comedians and academics at a fresh, fun approach at bringing science to society. Having thoroughly enjoyed both Chiara’s performance and the entire show myself, I took it upon myself to find out her side of the story:
AM: What made you want to perform at Bright Club?
CA: I got an invitation from Steve Cross, head of public engagement at UCL, who tries to connect academics with the people ‘out there’. I was already involved in bringing philosophy to the public, and my fear was that the public would be too scared to approach anything to do with philosophy of science - so I thought comedy would be a good way to start!
AM: Why do you think people are scared of philosophy?
CA: I think there is this idea that philosophy is just for a few people who are philosophically minded, and that it’s a very difficult discipline (perhaps because some philosophers think they need to make their theories very complicated) so the public don’t bother to approach it at all. But philosophy is first and foremost the pursuit of wisdom, and everybody wants to pursue wisdom at some point in their life.
AM: Do you think Bright Club works?
CA: Yes - the fact that there were 550 people and standing only tickets being sold on the night means there is a lot of interest. It generates knowledge too - after one of my previous performances somebody came to me and said ‘I had no idea of this connection between art and non-Euclidean geometries, it’s very interesting. I am going to look it up.’ I think comedy can work as a glue between science and society that hasn’t yet been explored in all its possibilities.
AM: How did it feel onstage?
CA: I was very scared. I’m a very sociable person and have no problem lecturing in front of a lot of people, but at conferences you can talk the technical jargon to impress the audience; with Bright Club I was well aware there would be 550 people watching me and I was scared because humour is culture dependent – what’s funny for me as an Italian speaker might not have worked for an English audience.
AM: Did you have lessons?
CA: The nice thing about Bright Club is that we get training and advice on how to compose a comedy set – comedy is about content but won’t pass unless you bring in a character, and my Italian character was natural – a very extreme version of myself! So in my performance I emphasised my strong accent and Italian characteristics.
AM: Would you do it again?
CA: Oh yes. This set was about how artists, particularly Picasso, used non-Euclidean geometry and the concept of the fourth dimension in their art. Then there was a funny sex thing linked to the fact that Picasso was a womaniser on top of the message I wanted to convey to the public: even when we think about fine art, science becomes very relevant. What I’d like to do in the next set is bring in some stronger philosophical themes, which are very suitable for standup comedy.
AM: Did you, as an academic, get on with the comedians?
CA: Some of the comedians were really charming but there was one particular comedian who got on my nerves, because he had a very naïve view of science. I told him off for always talking about the history of the ‘winners’ – Einstein, Penrose – very recognisable names. Why do we always make history about the winners when there are a lot of other less known scientists who did a hell of a job but are completely neglected by history of science?
AM: Who is the next person in STS you think should perform at Bright Club?
CA: Andy Gregory! He has a fantastic sense of humour and I think he would do great onstage.
Bright club is a cheap, fun, intellectual evening out. The next BC is on the 13th December, see www.brightclub.org for details.
Page last modified on 02 dec 10 17:32 by Joe Cain
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