Raise your glasses – 'Pint of Science' festival returns to Nottingham

31 Mar 2017 14:11:09.423

PA 63/17

Pubs and bars around Nottingham will be brewing up some of the sights and sounds of science in May as one of the world’s largest festivals of public science comes to town. The aim – bringing science to the people.

Nottingham’s watering holes will join more than 100 cities across 9 different countries – including france, Australia, Brazil and Canada taking part in ‘Pint of Science’. This global festival takes place from Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 May 2017.

This year’s international three-day ‘Pint of Science’ festival will be officially launched on Monday 3 April at the Canalhouse. The opening event will feature a mini ‘Pint of Science’ involving some of the main event’s key speakers, activities and demonstrations.

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Founded only four years ago by two UK researchers, the festival today brings a unique line up of talks, demonstrations and live experiments to each city’s favourite pubs and bars. The first Pint of Science festival in May 2013 featured simultaneous events across London, Oxford, and Cambridge – 45 events were staged in 15 pubs over three days. Four years on the event has become one of the largest celebrations of scientific discovery and research across the globe.

Matthew Young, a Phd student in the School of Life Sciences, said: “After an incredibly positive response from the public to the festival's Nottingham debut last year, it was clear to us that there's a big appetite out there for people to engage with more hot-topic science coming out of their own city.

“We're seeing a big gap between the reality of what scientists do & the importance of science to everyday life, and how the public perceives this all to be. This leads to the spread of misinformation and distrust in the wider world, so by bringing scientists out of the lab and into a more casual setting, we hope to bridge that gap and show that there's something in science for everyone.”

So what’s on in Nottingham?

Among the 45 scientists will be taking part in the event which features six themes. Among them:

Atoms to Galaxies:

Dr Meghan Gray, from the School of Physics and Astronomy will demonstrate how we use telescopes to trace the visible and invisible large-scale structures of the universe.

Planet Earth:

Dr Ramiro Alberio, an expert in developmental epigenetics in the School of Biosciences, will be talking about recent develoments in the use of pigs for the generation of human organs.

Beautiful Mind:

Dr Lisa Chakrabarti, a lecturer in biochemistry in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, will be comparing the energy producing parts of the brain - ‘the mitochondria’ - from healthy young and old brains with diseases connected with advanced age. She said: “Our ultimate aim is to keep the brain running on full batteries until the end.”

Our Body:

Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology in the School of Life Sciences, will invite you on a ‘journal through viral history’ charting the emergence of deadly diseases like Ebola and ponder on what might happen to HIV if we let nature take its course. He said: “Viruses will kill you or at the very least make you very, very ill. In this lifelong fight for survival, it’s them or you .. or is it? Does it really make sense for these invisible foes to lay you low? Or are there better ways to survive?” 

Our Body:

Visiting academic Dr Keith Miller – a senior lecturer at Sheffield Halam has been trying to isolate new antibiotics from snake and scorpion venoms. His talk is on ‘Medicine from Poisons: Antibiotics from Scorpion Venom’. He said: “Antibiotics are rarely out of the news, with an increasing number of nasty bugs that can’t be killed with any of the drugs we throw at them! We need new antibiotic and fast.

Breaking down the barriers to understanding science

Hannah Tomlin, a PhD student in the School of Pharmacy, said: “Science is important in all aspects of our lives, yet there seems to be a growing image problem with distrust of scientists and their intentions, and of science in general. Pint of Science is a great way to break down those misconceptions and show that scientists are normal people, devoted to a job and a cause they truly care about, contributing to the good of society.”

The Venues

Each of the Nottingham venues will feature focus on the different topics:

  • • The Canalhouse: Beautiful Mind - neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry.
  • • Bunker’s Hill: Atoms to Galaxies - physics, chemistry, maths, astronomy.
  • • Nottingham Contemporary – The Café: Our Body - medicine, human biology, health 
  • • Rough Trade: Planet Earth - geosciences, plant sciences, zoology.
  • • Purecraft: Our Society - tech, politics, policy, languages, sociology.
  • • Nottingham Contemporary – The Studio: Creative Reactions - art and science collaboration.
  • Alongside the talks each night, there will be a huge range of interactive science demos and activities including:
  • • Planet Earth (Rough Trade): Dinosaur dig in a pub! Guests will be able to have a go at digging out a dinosaur skeleton under the guise of dinosaur experts.
  • • Our Body (Nottingham Contemporary): Real microscopes and real biological samples
  • • Our Society (Purecraft) -  Find out about AI with live tracking hashtags as they journey across the world & even hack an Amazon Echo.


— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email mediahub@nottingham.ac.uk or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

Note to editors: More information is available from Matthew Young (Nottingham’s Cordinator) on +44 (0) 7825604556, matthew.young@nottingham.ac.uk or Maria Zygouropoulou (Nottingham Publicity Lead) on +44 (0) 7939269133, stxmz12@nottingham.ac.uk
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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