A group of BBSRC White Rose DTP students from the University of York have teamed up to organize this year’s Pint of Science event in York – bringing cutting-edge research to a boozer near you. We spoke to event co-ordinator, and 3rd Year PhD student, Conor Scott to learn more about the event and what he hopes it will achieve.
This article was written by Liam Barratt.
[The featured image is of the Pint of Science logo.]
Pint of Science shows have been bridging the gap between the general public and scientific research since 2013; running events all over the world which afford people the opportunity to discuss science with academics and top researchers in a relaxed setting, away from lecture halls and laboratories.
“Scientists often do a bad job of explaining things”
Increasing accessibility to research is something Conor thinks is key to engaging the public in science: “Whenever anyone is learning about something new it can be quite intimidating, and I feel scientists often do a bad job of explaining things in an accessible way. Our aim is to create an experience where people feel like they are just sitting in a pub or café as they normally would, and are part of a conversation about science, instead of being lectured”.
Conor spends his working days exploring the genome of a wood-degrading fungi, in the hunt for lignocellulose-degrading enzymes to be used in biofuel production and other industrial processes, however is also passionate about communicating science with the public, saying “[science communication] can actually be quite challenging, I think it is a skill all researchers should work on, because it reminds us of why we do the work we do” and can help “get the public excited about local science”.
“It is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture”
“Scientists are usually so focused on such a specific part of the field they work in that it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture”, explains Conor, who gave a talk at the event in 2020 and hosted a show last year, “Pint of Science isn’t just for the public, it is also a platform for researchers to communicate their science in a way that non-scientific members of the public will understand”.
Conor is working with other DTP PhD students, Liam Barratt, Blythe Wright, Theo Issitt, Sabina Musial and Laura Cowell to organize the event in York. They are hosting six shows, across four venues between the 9th and 11th of May. Highlighting the city’s great pubs and bars is another aspect of the event Conor has a keen interest in, “Pint of Science is a unique event because it utilizes the great array of venues we have in York to bring the amazing research being done in the city directly to the public, in a familiar setting. I am hopeful that as well as highlighting interesting scientific work taking place in the city, we will also be shining a spotlight on the venues themselves”.
An overview of the shows are outlined below. Buy tickets and find full details of the shows here. Tickets are on sale now!
FortyFive Vinyl Cafe: