Project image
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$4,180
pledged of $31,415pledged of $31,415 goal
65
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, February 21 2019 3:58 AM UTC +00:00
Science RiotBy Science Riot
First created
Science RiotBy Science Riot
First created
$4,180
pledged of $31,415pledged of $31,415 goal
65
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, February 21 2019 3:58 AM UTC +00:00

About

WE WANT TO CONVINCE SCIENTISTS TO GET BEHIND A MICROPHONE. 

With crash-course lessons in STAND-UP COMEDY!

We believe in the power of humor to connect with broader audiences, make difficult topics accessible, and humanize scientists without undermining the seriousness of their professions. Our team represents fifty combined years of hard-earned experience in a field with few experts: popular science outreach programs for adults. Since 2016, we have honed our unique syllabus and graduated hundreds of scientists to the stage.  

 It's one thing to tell scientists to make their research more accessible. They've already been told to avoid using jargon, but then what? We provide immersive workshops and a safe space where experts can find new perspectives in their work, receive feedback from professional comedians, and have a dialogue with supportive audiences. Our goal is to deepen the bench of talented science communicators.

Science Riot began as a grassroots effort at the base of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Our very first show occurred during a January snowstorm, we rented a tiny venue and were shocked when the ticket line stretched around the block. Despite the success of similar programs at home and abroad, institutions continue to vastly underestimate the public demand for engaging, intelligent content. 

Science To The People

A successful fundraising drive would allow us to publish the results of our experiment so that it can be replicated in other cities! Specifically, we will: 

  •  $31,415.92 - HAVE OUR PI AND EAT IT TOO! We will livestream a Science Riot performance at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science as we celebrate Pi Day on March 14th with all of our Kickstarter backers! 
  •  $60,221 -HOLY AVOGADRO! We can train new production teams in order to expand our programming from four to ELEVEN cities including: 

$79,000 - THE ATOMIC NUMBER OF COMEDY GOLD! We can hire a professional AV team to make use of the two years of digital video recordings currently sitting on hard-drives. The 'Best-Of' will be published online. Such as this one by a Colorado Epidemiologist: 

  •  $99,000 - EUREKA, EINSTEINIUM! We will convert those 'Best-Of' performances to an audio podcast that will include interviews with scientists and science communicators. You can hear a short feature about us on WBUR's HERE & NOW. 

"But Why Comedy?"

Comedy is a unique communication tool that breaks down barriers and creates empathy. Joke writing demands that the writer distill complex ideas into simple concepts and express it in a way that is comprehensible, palatable, and memorable to a non-scientific audience. Comedy performance also demands the speaker develop enough confidence to be conversational and relatable on stage.  

 
  Ultimately, we empower individual scientists to be the human face of science and facts to the public. Our graduates don’t just do this once. Many of them continue on in public outreach after the showcase, equipped with the tools to reframe difficult topics through humor.  

Our Story

Begins at a Las Vegas barcade in Summer of 2013. Kyle Sanders, Science Riot co-founder, caught a Festival of the Spoken Nerd performance that seamlessly blended science, comedy, music, experiments, and visuals in a live performance. Afterward, they put him in contact with University College London and a handful of communicators who ran Bright Club, billed in the UK as a "thinking person's comedy night".

In 2015, co-founders Kyle Sanders and Dr. Niki Spahich were heavily involved with outreach events including a longstanding Science Cafe and often lamented that presentations by truly impressive academics could be so underwhelming. They made the decision to try something way out of their academic comfort zones. Armed with a paperback copy of 'Get Started in Stand-up Comedy' by Logan Murray and notes from UCL, they strong-armed four other scientists to accompany them on stage. 

Three years of development later, Science Riot has hosted shows in four cities at venues like the Space Foundation Headquarters, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Little Rock Museum of Discovery, and the Field Museum in Chicago. So far none of the scientists have collapsed on stage! We have also wide ranging experience organizing and working with large-scale programming from science festivals, to Denver Comic Con, to the March For Science national summit.  

Get Involved

We need your help to share this Kickstarter campaign on Facebook and Twitter, but what next?

If you want to bring science comedy to your hometown, we can do that! It's easier than you think. We've worked hard to distill our process into an easy to follow guide. Our goal is to provide centralized support for scientist recruitment, contracts, and finances so that our Producer teams can focus on their workshops. We can provide everything you need to get started including personalized training and our handy Producer Playbook. Contact Us for more information!

If you work in a STEM-related career and want to give comedy a shot (in one of our eleven US cities), you can sign up for workshops at our website: scienceriot.org/signup

Risks and challenges

It is a big challenge to professionalize a previously volunteer non-profit organization. This is why we've expanded our Board of Directors and brought in mentors with unique experience in education, outreach, television, and entertainment. We've created an online database to coordinate programs and finances with all of our new teams. If our fund drive is successful, we have members of our team ready to quit their job and become our first Science Riot employees to oversee a full 2019 calendar.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Become an Official Science Enthusiast

    Your name will appear on our website as an inaugural inductee to the Round Earth Society! This auspicious (and completely unofficial) organization exists to promote the alternative theory of oblate spheroids that THEY don't want you to know about.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Exclusive Nerdy Content

    You'll be able to watch only-once-seen-before recordings of real scientists attempting comedy for their first time ever from the warm glow of your favorite internet-enabled device.

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Crash-Course Digital Download

    You'll receive a condensed version of our scientist workbook that will make any presentation entertaining, guaranteed*!

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    13 backers
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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Join Us with a Science Riot Membership!

    Join our team and you will get everything listed below AND you'll become a founding member of Science Riot!

    You will receive a limited edition digital membership certificate, your name and/or organization will be featured on our sponsor page as an Science Riot Affiliate (with links to your social media or website), and you will have exclusive access to our online resources and members-only communications such as ticket discounts and online hangouts.

    Includes:
    • Round Earth Society Roster of Inductees
    • Access to Videos of Comedy Talks
    • Condensed Science-Comedy Digital Workbook
    • Science Riot Digital Membership
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Personal Haiku

    You will receive a personal Haiku written by one of our science-comedians about any nerdy topic of your choosing.

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    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    Spoken-Nerd Special and Science Swag!

    You will get to watch professional science-comedians in action with a digital download of the Festival of the Spoken Nerd's newest comedy special - "You Can't Polish A Nerd."

    The Festival of the Spoken Nerd is the UK science comedy phenomenon that will feed your brain, tickle your ribs and light your Bunsen burner. The trio of former scientists include stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, experiments maestro Steve Mould, and geek songstress Helen Arney who mix astonishing science with statistically significant comedy, plus experiments that electrify their audience. Sometimes literally.

    FOTSN helped to bring Science Riot to the US and represents what we all want to be when we grow up. Now you can enjoy science comedy AND consume copious amounts of caffeine from your own fantastically nerdy and beautifully science-inspired coffee mug and Science Riot swag.

    Includes:
    • Round Earth Society Roster of Inductees
    • Access to Videos of Comedy Talks
    • Condensed Science-Comedy Digital Workbook
    • Amazing Sci-Art Mug
    • Science-Comedy Sticker Pack!
    • Festival of the Spoken Nerd Digital Download
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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Chicago Comedy with a Comedian

    Spend an evening in the Chicago comedy scene with stand-up comedian Eric Henderson! (*Must be near Chicago)

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    VIP Tickets for Pi-Day Celebration!

    Two VIP seats to the Science Riot show at Denver's Clocktower Theater as we celebrate and livestream the Pi Day festivities!

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    VIP Tickets for Pi-Day Show in ATL!

    Two VIP seats to the Science Riot show at Atlanta's Highland Ballroom as we celebrate Pi Day festivities with our first Georgia event as part of the Atlanta Science Festival!

    Includes:
    • Amazing Sci-Art Mug
    • Science-Comedy Sticker Pack!
    • Front-Row Seats
    • Complimentary Drink
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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Make a Pre-Show Announcement!

    We will display one of your tweets or posts during pre-show video announcements at an event in one of our cities. This is great for advertisements* as well as life events like marriage proposals and breakups!
    (*All factual claims will be peer-reviewed by our plucky team of scientists)

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Personal Science-Comedy Tutelage

    Meet online with one of our professional science-comedians for a 1-hour session that can turn any academic talk or technical presentation into comedy gold. (Science Riot is not responsible for the rejection of your dissertation)

    Includes:
    • Round Earth Society Roster of Inductees
    • Access to Videos of Comedy Talks
    • Amazing Sci-Art Mug
    • Science-Comedy Sticker Pack!
    • The Complete Science Riot Comedy Workbook
    • Science Riot Digital Membership
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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Pi in the Face!

    If you can make it to the Denver show, you get to end the Pi Day show by delivering a pi to the face of laboratorian and comedienne, Jessie Hanson!

    Includes:
    • Complimentary Drink
    • Front-Row Seats
    • Amazing Sci-Art Mug
    • Science-Comedy Sticker Pack!
    • Science Riot Digital Membership
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Custom Comedy Voicemail!

    Professional comedians from the Science Riot network will record a uniquely hilarious sound-byte to use as your voicemail away message.

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    Host Your Own Workshop!

    We will fly in the Science Riot team to host a condensed one-day workshop for your office, classroom, or birthday party! (travel/lodging not included)

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Funding period

- (45 days)