Science Communication

Pint of Science Festival comes to pubs on 5 continents

Scientists are taking to pubs to talk to the public about their research

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Talking science over beer at the Pint of Science event in Berlin last year. This year, Elsevier is helping to organize events in Germany, the UK and the United States.

Ever wondered what scientists are doing in their labs all day? The Pint of Science Festival gives you the opportunity to find out first hand.

For three days starting on Monday, scientists will be in pubs around the world talking to the public about their research. Over a pint, you can find out about topics as diverse as whether social networking really allows you to expand your group of friends or if you could rob a bank with a magnet.

The evening will be as far from a dull schoolroom science lesson as you can imagine – and not just because of the beer. Scientists will be talking about cutting-edge research with infectious enthusiasm and translating the high-tech into everyday terms that can be understood even by those who weren’t paying attention in science class.

The Pint of Science festival began in 2012 as the brainchild of Dr. Praveen Paul and Dr. Michael Motskin of Imperial College London. They started by inviting the public into their labs but moved on to taking their science out to meet the public in that great British institution – the pub. The first festival, in 2013, had 15 events in three cities in the UK. Since then, the festival has grown into the largest in the world; this year’s festival will feature more than 900 events in 12 countries.

Pint of Science chapters around the world will be hosting events on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23 to 25. (Source: Pint of Science in <em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cell.com/trends/immunology/abstract/S1471-4906(16)00028-4">Trends in Immunology</a></em>, 2016)

In the UK, the success of the festival and its contribution to science communication was recognised this year with a Points of Light award from UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He said:

Praveen and Michael have found a brilliantly innovative way to take science out of the lab and show thousands of people how interesting science can be. They have inspired students and top scientists around the world to get involved in Pint of Science and make their subjects accessible for everyone.

This year, Elsevier is supporting the Pint of Science festival in the UK, Germany, Brazil and the United States.

  • Pint of Science presenters aim to make their science fun and accessible to the public. Here’s an agenda from a 2015 event in Berlin.In Germany, where Elsevier helped Establish Pint of Science, we are helping to organize two nights in Berlin and three in Munich.
  • In the US, events are being held in 13 cities, and some will feature Elsevier authors. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cell Press is supporting an event called #DNARepairCafe. This custom event arose from a discussion with Pint of Science on Twitter. Dr. Brian Plosky, Deputy Editor of Molecular Cell, reached out to Pint of Science and helped by suggesting and inviting speakers to explain why understanding DNA repair is a key to tackling both cancer and genome editing.
  • In Brazil, where Elsevier is the national sponsor, events are being held in seven cities.
  • In the UK, we’re sponsoring events with the “Beautiful Mind” theme, covering all aspects of the brain from neuroscience and psychology to psychiatry. Meanwhile, Mendeley is partnering with events on the themes “Atoms to Galaxies” and “Tech me out.”

“Pint of Science has created a great opportunity to promote science in a fun and accessible way to the wider public,” said Anne Kitson, Executive VP of Physical Sciences for STM Journals at Elsevier. “Elsevier shares this goal, and we feel that together we can do more to bridge the gap between the science of research and the public’s understanding of why science is important.”

To attend a Pint of Science event

The Pint of Science Festival is May 23 to 25, with events in 12 countries. To find an event near you, visit the Pint of Science website.


To follow on social media

On Twitter, follow @pintofscience and @ElsevierConnect and use the hashtag #pint16 or the hashtag of the event you are attending.

Related article

This article by the Pint of Science co-founders was published by Elsevier’s Cell Press:

Praveen Paul and Michael Motskin: “Engaging the Public with your Research,” Trends in Immunology (April 2016)


Elsevier Connect Contributor

Kate Hibbert, PhDDr. Kate Hibbert (@hibbert_kate) is an Associate Publisher at Elsevier responsible for a portfolio of journals in Earth and Planetary Sciences. Kate joined Elsevier in 2015 after completing a PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol, where she worked on isotope geochemistry. During her PhD, Kate also did volunteer work in science communication, visiting local schools to talk about Earth Sciences, as well as a placement at the National Assembly for Wales communicating science policy.

Other contributors include Jennie Eckilson, Cell Press Marketing Manager, and Edward “EJ” Van Lanen, Publisher for Medical Research at Elsevier.

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