ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology


22, Apr 2024

A laughter-filled journey into the world of synthetic biology

Three of our bright minds from the University of Newcastle node have taken to the stage in a unique fusion of science and comedy.

Saroj Dulal, Nicola Elliott, and Louis Nightingale captivated audiences with talks that were 80% science and 20% humour, leaving Novocastrians both enlightened and in stitches over three engaging days. The gigs were part of a Future Science Talks program that helps scientists hone their comedic skills.

‘These stand-up routines weren’t just about laughs; they were a window into the fascinating world of synthetic biology. Alongside experts from diverse fields like ecology, reproductive biology and engineering, our team aimed to make science education accessible to all,’ says Louis.

Future Science Talks Audience

Before stepping into the spotlight, Nicola, Saroj, and Louis honed their skills in five workshops covering science communication, comedy, and stage presence. Armed with wit and wisdom, they crafted ten-minute talks that entertained and informed in equal measure.

Nicola Elliott’s presentation delved into the future of non-addictive pain relief, weaving together molecular microbiology with hilarious anecdotes about family expectations. Saroj Dulal had the crowd roaring with laughter as he explored the potential of new compounds, likening microbial communities to a clash of clans army and comparing the taste of Victoria Bitters to traditional medicines. Louis Nightingale’s discussion on sunscreens and alternatives was not only educational but peppered with amusing tales that made complex biosynthetic pathways easy to digest.

Nicola Elliott at Future Science Talks

‘Sharing my research in a fun and engaging format was incredibly rewarding.’ says Nicola.  ‘More opportunities like this could really spark interest in STEM research among the public.’

Saroj Dulal says it was a joy to blend learning with laughter and connect with others through humour. While for Louis, the program has boosted my confidence. ‘Now I feel ready to speak in front of any audience!’

Saroj Dulal

Behind the scenes, David Crisante, the driving force behind the program, couldn’t contain his excitement.

‘Working with these brilliant minds was an absolute pleasure. The camaraderie within the group was infectious, and seeing the audience’s enthusiasm was truly gratifying,’ he says.

With laughter as their secret weapon, our team of science comedians is breaking down barriers and making science more accessible, one joke at a time.

‘Join us on this laughter-filled journey into the fascinating world of synthetic biology!,’ says Louis.