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Professor Karmadillo is an act with an unashamedly geeky science show which aims to entertain and educate. The aim of the show is to look at scientific topics which maybe in the news or science journals and explore them through music and song with accompanying visuals and/or short discussions.

It was inspired as an existing musical act, Karmadillo, was invited to contribute songs to the Geek Pop Festival in 2010. Karmadillo is a musical entity with songs written on a charango. (The charango is a small guitar-like instrument from South America). This has been a feelgood music with a energetic live performances – in 2010, Karmadillo was voted Cambridge Busker of The Year at the Cambridge Buskers Festival. Karmadillo have appeared at the Edinburgh Festival and the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

That inspired a whole set of science songs. As these didn’t fit into a normal pop groups set, the idea of ‘Professor Karmadillo’ emerged as the creative space in which these songs and artworks could be developed. Whilst wanted to be scientifically accurate, the vision is to create something that is at the same time an artistically replete experience. ‘Professor Karmadillo’ would be musically based, aimed at a scientifically aware audience, across disciplines.

You can listen to the contributions to the Geek Pop Festivals so far at the following links.

  1. Geek Pop 2010 Songs
  2. Geek Pop 2011 Songs

Currently the first version of a fully fledged live show is in development, with initial shows being scheduled from late 2011 onwards. There would be visuals to complement the music on stage, providing an emotionally and intellectually engaging experience – an artistic show with scientific integrity. As a scientist with a decade of experience writing and performing I believe I can achieve this without patronising the target audience. The level of science featuring in the songs is a key element – the show not aiming to be an educational experience, yet still be an enjoyable or informative experience for those not specialist in the field.

Professor Karmadillo at the Museum of Zoology, 2011

Professor Karmadillo at the Museum of Zoology, 2011

As a multi-disciplinary scientist myself I find science inspirational, exciting and full of wonder – I would like to capture and share these emotional qualities with the audience. I feel such a show would help provide a feel-good factor to scientists’ identities. In addition, it could help provide a positive side to the general public of frequently inaccurately described subjects.

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