My colleagues Jane Setter and Tim Wharton have just had what can only be called a gig, at an event called Science Showoff, “an open mic night for scientists, science communicators, science teachers, historians and philosophers of science, students, science popularisers and anyone else with something to show off about science.”
Grab yourself 10 minutes to show off absolutely anything about science. Got a demo, sketch, song, video, talk, performance, dance or anything else about science that you’d like to try out in public, or show to a new audience? Bring it to Science Showoff.
Jane and Tim are both tutors on the UCL Summer Course in English Phonetics, as well as holding academic posts at Reading and Kingston universities respectively. They are also both talented singers, with plenty of experience as performers.
Their set comprised some elementary phonetic theory illustrated with two songs, In summer in London and Doing intonation. You may recognize the tunes.
I’m afraid there is no video available. There is a (rather poor-quality) sound recording here. You can listen to it while following the script here. Enjoy the audience participation.
There was one slight performance error. Where Jane was supposed to say (an exaggerated version of)
\really looking ₒforward | to \/science ₒshowoffshe actually produced
\really looking forward | to \/science | \/showoff…which reflects our uncertainty about the stress pattern of newly coined compound nouns. Ideally I think I would have scripted, and performed,
\really looking forward | to \/Science | \Showoff
From a review on the Science Showoff website:
Highlights for me included ... Jane Setter earworming everyone with songs about phonetics (WHY DID I WAKE UP WITH THE LOCOMOTION IN MY HEAD??!?!) ...
Here's an old picture of Tim and Jane with students at the summer course.