Education & Family

Pi and a pint of science experiments in pub project

picture of scientist holding a brain and a pint Image copyright Nick Rutter
Image caption Taking the lecture to the local: Dr Martin O'Neill, Oxford University

Scientists in the UK are "taking science to the pub", in a series of lectures and experiments in bars across the country.

More than 500 scientists are swapping the lecture hall for the local, sharing research with the public over a drink.

Topics include the study of social drinking and the science in films such as Star Wars, Star Trek and Interstellar.

The Pint of Science festival runs until 20 May.

'Pick their brains'

Scientists Michael Motskin and Praveen Paul started the festival three years ago after inviting members of the public into their labs to show them the kind of research they do.

It was so successful that Dr Motskin and Dr Paul decided to "take the scientists to the people" and organised the first science talk in a pub, leading to the creation of the festival.

Image copyright Nick rutter
Image caption Astronomer Dr Caitriona Jackman talks about the Cassini mission

"Our approach is simple," said Dr Motskin.

"We ask top scientists to present their scientific discoveries in a down-to-Earth setting over a drink or two.

"I have seen during my own career that scientists can appear distant to people, a situation that leads to distrust and suspicion about our work.

"That is why we want to bring back the personal touch and give everyone a chance to pick the brains of the UK's most brilliant academics, away from the stuffy laboratory or lecture theatre."

The lectures are taking place in cities across the country, with live experiments, quizzes and "geeky puzzles".

Scientific themes open for discussion are:

  • the beautiful mind
  • the body
  • tech me out
  • atoms to galaxies
  • planet Earth
  • our society
Image copyright Nick Rutter
Image caption A model of the Cassini probe, part of a mission to send back information from Saturn

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