In just over two weeks’ time a festival of science in pubs is coming to Southampton for the first time.
Every now and again something happens to remind students of science that they like their subjects. After crawling on their hands and knees towards a deadline, when they’ve half developed arthritis and their brain is just about frazzled, a sort of heavenly light shines down on a fact or figure, and they remember with relief science is genuinely interesting.
But there are people living in Southampton who go out in the sunlight. They are not slaves to the textbook. These people are the Southampton locals and they want to keep up with science too.
It would be unfortunate if only the students of Southampton got to hear about the university’s interesting scientific research and the locals missed out on hearing about exciting work being done in their own city.
These are the friendly foundations for the Pint of Science Festival, spawning the world’s largest festival of science public lectures, now run across university cities in 8 countries worldwide: the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Australia and the US. It was set up 3 years ago by concerned researchers, who didn’t like the way science was being shown on television and in the media.
Festival cofounder Dr Motskin stated “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 a personal touch and give everyone a chance to pick the brains of some of the UK’s most brilliant academics, away from the stuffy laboratory or lecture theatre.”
The festival has been growing year by year, getting more and more universities involved. Southampton University is proud to be participating in this year’s festival, which runs from the 18th to the 20th May.
Gladly trading lecture rooms for Southampton pubs, more than 20 scientists from the University of Southampton will be talking at pubs less familiar to the average Southampton student, including The Dancing Man, The Red Lion, The Avondale House and Juniper Berry.
The cost of ordering a pint of science is £3, which is cheap in comparison to what most spend on a pub night and is scandalous in comparison to the price students pay for any sort of knowledge these days.
The talks will span the full range of sciences with big talk titles set to intrigue Southampton such as ‘Adventures in the Outer Solar System’, ‘Making Replacement Body Parts in the Lab’, ‘What Do Drugs Do to the Brain?’ and ‘The Last Great Wilderness: The Deep Sea’.
These talks aim to be more than just a more boozy version of a lecture, coordinators assure us they will be interactive and fun with live experiments, quizzes and music inspired by quantum physics.
So whether you have a keen friend who would enjoy a pint of science, or you just can’t get enough university, buy tickets at £3 per event online at http://pintofscience.co.uk/events/southampton/. This festival will hopefully help break the stereotype of (boring et al) and let the UK see science for all its true wacky glory. That is, if everyone doesn’t get too drunk along the way.