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Bradford Tooth Fairy takes part in Soapbox Science 2016

Published: Mon 23 May 2016
Bradford Tooth Fairy takes part in Soapbox Science 2016

Dr Julia Beaumont from the University of Bradford will be dressing up as the Bradford Tooth Fairy when she takes part in Soapbox Science in Newcastle on Saturday 18th June.

Julia, a Lecturer in Biological Anthropology at the university’s School of Archaeological Sciences, will be one of over 150 female scientists to take her science to the streets of 13 UK cities across England, Wales and Scotland this summer for the Soapbox Science Festival. Now in its sixth year, Soapbox Science challenges perceptions of who a scientist is by celebrating diversity in women in science.

The festival has two aims: to bring the opportunity to meet and interact with scientists in unexpected places, and to increase the visibility of women in science.

Soapbox Science co-founder, Dr Nathalie Pettorelli of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) said: “Soapbox Science gives female scientists the much-needed boost to their visibility and profile they need to help achieve equality in science. In the five years of Soapbox, we have seen real impact on the career paths of our speakers, raising their profiles and opening new opportunities for them within the science communities.”

Julia, who first practiced as a dentist before pursuing a career in biological anthropology, explains why she decided to participate in Soapbox Science: “I think it’s really important that women can see other women doing science.  And I think in my particular case it’s great for people to see that mature students can also get involved with science.” 

Her research interests include looking at childhood health and disease in the past by looking at lots of teeth from different time periods in British history.  She would also like to look at people who were transported from Britain as convicts while they were still quite young and still growing teeth to see what effects that had.  

Soapbox Science co-founder, Dr Seirian Sumner of the University of Bristol said: “This year, we are delighted to be able to showcase women from a huge range of backgrounds. These women show that there is no one ‘type’ of person who is a scientist. Soapbox Science aims to break down pre-conceptions of who a scientist is, and inspire a new generation of girls into science irrespective of their background.”

Julia says she will engage the public on the day by dressing up as the Bradford Tooth Fairy.  “By taking on the tooth fairy persona I’m hoping to engage all ages and demonstrate that science can be exciting for everyone.”

Read more about Julia's research and the Soapbox science events.

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