Soapbox Science in Düsseldorf


Eleven enthusiastic female researchers presented their work in the centre of Düsseldorf.

Laura Merx (UoC)
Franziska Fichtner (HHU)
Lianne Gahan (HHU)
Laura Armbruster (UoC)
Laia Segura Broncano (HHU)
Sena Parlak (UoC)

For the fourth time in a row, CEPLAS has co-hosted the local event Soapbox Science Rheinland together with the Excellence Clusters ML4Q and CECAD.

To attract attention of people passing through the busy square the researchers stepped up on a box and explained their research in a very accessible way only with the help of a few props for illustration. Many visitors stopped, listened to the short pitches and engaged in conversation with the researchers. Even with the rain starting, people continued their conversations under umbrellas.

Also this year CEPLAS research topics were very well represented. Six very well-spoken female early career researchers (Gradschool, postdoc, junior group leader) participated as speakers and talked about plant research for the Schadowplatz-audience: Franziska Fichtner, Laia Segura Broncano, Laura Armbruster, Lianne Gahan, Laura Merx and Sena Parlak.

At the event’s info point, the visitors were furthermore provided with more background information on the event and with promotion material from the participating institutions.

The speakers expressed a rather positive outlook on their experience. After her presentation, CEPLAS doctoral student Laura Merx was enthusiastic about the feedback she received from her audience: "I've never stood on a box in a crowded place before and it was a bit of a challenge at first to speak up. But it really worked out well and I didn't expect so many exciting conversations with so many different people."

Soapbox Science is a public science communication event promoting women and non-binary scientists and the science they do. CEPLAS is supporting the event, as this can be a great opportunity for female* researchers to present their research to a broader public and disseminate science in an accessible and engaging way. At the same time this is a great platform to increase the visibility of women and non-binary persons in science and challenge some of the stereotypes and preconceptions about who a scientist is.