Pint of Science Birmingham brings latest local science breakthroughs to city pubs

Researchers from the University of Birmingham are joining the world’s largest festival of public science talks as over 30 scientists take to the stage in pubs around Birmingham city centre from 15 to 17 May.

The international three-day Pint of Science festival will see thousands of scientists simultaneously standing up and telling the public about their research in over 100 cities across 12 countries. Founded five years ago by two UK researchers, the festival brings a unique line up of talks, demonstrations and live experiments to the nation’s favourite locals.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham, Aston University and Birmingham City University will be popping up at various pubs across the city, including The Church Inn, The Gunmaker’s Arms, Island Bar, The Platform at Millennium Point and The Woodman.

Tickets are available from the Pint of Science Birmingham website, with each evening costing only £4.

Festival-goers will enjoy a variety of thought-provoking talks including: how the human mind works, the search for other worlds in our Galaxy, how forensic linguistics is used to catch criminals and the potential of stem cell research in the treatment of dementia.

There will also be a performance by Leon Trimble, a Birmingham-based audio-visual artist who experiments with the live translation of physical science instruments who will be live-mixing data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) into his music.

Alongside the main talks, each evening will also include a range of fun, science-related activities including live experiments, fun quizzes, geeky puzzles, engaging stories and other interactive activities.

Dr Emily Halford, postdoctoral researcher and Pint of Science coordinator from University of Birmingham, said: “This is our fourth year of involvement in the Pint of Science Festival and this year is bigger and better than ever. We’re delighted to be working for the first time with colleagues from Aston University and Birmingham City University to put on such a wide-ranging and exciting programme of events.”

Pint of Science was established five years ago by a group of UK-based postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. Festival founders Dr Praveen Paul and Dr Michael Motskin wanted to bring back the personal touch to science, giving everyone the chance to meet the real people behind the incredible research taking place in universities across the country. The duo are amazed by the growth of their idea into a global festival, which has spread to 12 countries around the world.

Festival co-founder Dr Motskin said: “Science can often get lost in translation, leading to the spread of pseudo-science and myths. The best way to overcome this is for people to be able to talk to scientists directly in a familiar environment, such as in a pub over a pint.

“We are in awe of how big the festival has become over the years, demonstrating the thirst there is to hear science from the source – the scientists. The festival gives everyone the chance to pick the brains of some of the UK’s most brilliant academics, breaking down barriers and giving unrivalled access to the people behind the science.”

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For more information, contact Ben Kennedy, Aston University press officer, on +44 (0) 121 204 4592.

Notes to editors

Pint of Science is a volunteer-run initiative. It is coordinated by a small central Pint of Science team who work alongside organisers predominantly based within the various participating universities. A bit of background on the central Pint of Science team can be found here

The 2017 programme, announced today, will see UK talks held in London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Southampton, Exeter, Teesside, York, Portsmouth, Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield and Guildford, and (new for 2017) Cardiff, Bournemouth, Canterbury, Liverpool and Durham. Whilst every science evening during the festival is unique, each will include at least two experts presenting their research.

List of universities involved:
Aston University, Birmingham City University, City University London, Imperial College London, King's College London, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, The Francis Crick Institute, University College London, Teesside University, University of Bath, University of Birmingham, Bournemouth University, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Durham University, University of East Anglia, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, University of Hull, University of Kent, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Portsmouth, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of York.