News

Scientists get funny at Bright Club


10 January 2012

Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli
Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli

Turning science into stand-up comedy, three scientists in the division of Natural Sciences at the University of Sydney will take to the stage as part of Bright Club at the Sydney Festival over three nights in January. James Heathers, a PhD student in the School of Psychology, Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli, from the School of Biological Sciences, and Professor Alex McBratney, from the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, have been selected for their comic skills and ability to make science snigger-worthy.

Billed as 'the thinking person's variety night out', Bright Club presents a line-up of lecturers, researchers and PhD students from the University of Sydney sharing the comedy in their area of research in an eight-minute stand-up routine.

Each of the three Bright Club nights will feature four different University of Sydney staff plus one cabaret performer, hosted by comedian James O'Loghlin in The Famous Spiegeltent in Hyde Park.

James Heathers, from the School of Psychology, will speak at the first Bright Club on Wednesday 11 January which has the theme 'Testosterone' for all four stand-up comics. James will find the humour in his PhD research area of psychophysiology - the interplay between the body and the mind.

Professor Alex McBratney
Professor Alex McBratney

Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli, from the School of Biological Sciences, will make the audience laugh at the second Bright Club on Wednesday 18 January, which has the theme of 'Sex'. As an entomologist, Associate Professor Hochuli will share amusing stories from the insect world, from his "time spent watching insects and spiders do stuff in the name of solving our great environmental crises".

Professor Alex McBratney, from the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, will attempt to share his musings on 'Getting the smutty dirt on soil' at the third Bright Club on Wednesday 25 January, with the theme of 'Earth, Sea, Sky'. Professor McBratney is a soil scientist who will bring satire, schtick and general silliness and hopes to survive the experience only slightly scathed.

All the participating academics have been hand-picked by Sydney Festival organisers for their comic ability and then coached by Bright Club host, James O'Loghlin, who is also a University of Sydney alumnus. James O'Loghlin is one of Australia's leading comedians and media personalities, having performed stand-up comedy around Australia for decades and presented The New Inventors on ABC TV from 2004 until 2011.

To attend this bold Sydney Festival event that lends some of Sydney's finest minds to the city's comedy circuit, buy tickets on the Sydney Festival website at: