Climate Change Comedy Raises Funds for NOCS

Dr Simon Boxall (left) has a laugh with comedians Marcus Brigstocke and Mark Stevenson at the Climate Change Comedy Night in Southampton last month.

The National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) at the University of Southampton is celebrating the success of its Climate Change Comedy Night, held to raise funds for its Solent Science Roadshow programme.

The Roadshow is a combination of Discover Oceanography sessions at sea and onboard the research vessel, 'RV Callista' as well as a static exhibition.Ultimately the roadshow aims to raise the global profile on the importance of oceanographic sciences and their role in mitigating global climate change. The 'Discover Oceanography' programme and RV Callista, which is based at NOCS, are providing the latest scientific information to the next generation of scientists and oceanographers. Participants have the opportunity to tour the vessel and experience a comprehensive introduction to marine science and marine biology.

Climate Change Comedy Night, held on Monday 10 March, helped to raise valuable funds for the programme and was well attended despite hideous weather which had flooded parts of the South Coast earlier in the day.

Stand-up comedian, writer, presenter and actor, Marcus Brigstocke, from the Late Edition and Mark Stevenson, stand-up comedian, educationalist and writer, entertained the audience with their particular brands of humour, gently holding people to account and influencing those with the power to affect change to do so!

The original idea for the night came from the Cape Farewell project, which brings artists, scientists and educators together on an expedition to the Arctic to collectively address and raise awareness about climate change. Created by David Buckland, Cape Farewell has led five expeditions into the Arctic on board the 100 year old schooner 'Noorderlicht'. Cape Farewell is a charitable organisation made possible through sponsorship, partnership and donations.

Dr Simon Boxall from NOCS was heavily involved in the project and both he and Marcus Brigstocke went on the project last year. Much of the humour from the comedy night focussed on their experiences in the Arctic!

Gary Fisher from the National Oceanography Centre said, 'The evening was really successful and helped us raise further valuable funds for our roadshows. To date we have raised about four fifths of the money we need in order to run a full programme.'

In addition to the Solent Science Roadshows, The NOC offers sessions that individuals or small groups can attend, further details are available at http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/nocs/events.php. Larger groups can always book an exclusive Discover Oceanography session subject to the RV Callista being available.

Individual and corporate support has been enabling the expansion of RV Callista's public outreach activities. There are opportunities to partner with the National Oceanography Centre Southampton to support RV Callista or cutting edge research and education opportunities. Contact Joanne Donahoe at development@noc.soton.ac.uk or Gary Fisher at gjf@noc.soton.ac.uk for further information.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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