Kate Oliver

I’m a PhD student in experimental 3D printing at the University of Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials. This involves making shape changing jelly for a sci-fi future. Sound interesting? Watch me explain nature-inspired shape changing materials here.

I do talking and writing about nanotech, shape-changing materials, and physics (where I started), at Science Showoffs, on Soho Radio, at Doctor Jiggs Bowsons’ Cabaret at Cheltenham Science Festival, in Physics World and anywhere else interested. I also enable other people’s science communication as one of the co-ordinators for Science Showoff Bristol, and offer freelance science writing. I aspire to make science communication even more chaotic, raucous and expansive.

To that end, I’m currently working on character-based scicomm, presenting the outdated ideas of Victorian engineer Ivan Yarkovsky, the opinions of scienceman Professor Dique-Mahn, fabulous creature Poly Chromatik, and the gender transcendent MC Auncle Scary.

Upcoming gigs:

  • Free short talk on my work 3D printing jelly at the School of Physics, University of Bristol, 26th March, 17.00 – with two other PhD students, so you get three subjects! all welcome
  • On the 27th March I’m MCing Agony Auncles of Science, the show where scientists and specialists solve your problems using their knowledge, however inappropriate that may be. Bristol, Crofter’s Rights. £5.50 adv, all profits to charity
  • I’m in the national finals of the Institute of Physics ‘Three Minute Wonder’ science communication competition in May
  • .. and at other times I am working on science.

In previous lives I ran communications for Engineering at UCL, researched for an interactive maths TV programme, took journalists from 5 continents in a bus across the Alps, wrote press releases about buttering babies and tried to interest children in maths, amongst other things.

Find me online:

Learn how to be Fabulous with Nature and Poly Chromatik:

Hear Professor Dique-mahn’s views on Women in Science:

(he loves it when you do that)

(for the avoidance of confusion, all the people here are me.)

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