Exist Insight ISSUE 05

Pub-goers invited to raise a pint to science in Exeter

Added: 23 April 2018



Experts from the University of Exeter will bring their research out of the laboratory and into city watering holes, as the world’s largest festival of public science talks arrive in Exeter.

Pub goers will hear talks on everything from habitable exoplanets to online social identity detection at the three day Pint of Science festival. Local researchers will take to the stage as Exeter joins more than 100 cities around the world who will be taking part in the global event from the 14th-16th May. Tickets are now on sale.

The international, three day event will see thousands of scientists simultaneously standing up and talking about their research in over 100 cities across 21 countries around the world. Founded six 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.

Emily Glover, Publicity Officer for the Exeter Event, said: “The Pint of Science festival is the perfect opportunity to catch up on cutting-edge research while enjoying a beer or two! Watching the event come together, and learning about some of the great talks we have lined up this year, I don’t think I’d be able to decide which talks to go to. I hope people come and join us in May to learn something new and fascinating over a couple of drinks.”

University of Exeter researchers will be speaking at various venues across the city, including The Ship, The City Gate and The Oddfellows. Tickets are available from the Pint of Science website, with each evening costing only £4. For this Exeter attendees will enjoy a variety of exciting talks including:

Dr Miriam Koschate-Reis’ talk on “Who do we think you are? Online social identity detection” discussing how the way we write online – our linguistic style – provides clues to our identities, including which social groups we belong to. Dr Koschate-Reis will guide the audience through a world of digital fingerprints, style-shifting, identity deception, and will explain what our last social media post may reveal about ourselves.

Dr Kate Ellacott will discuss the brain’s regulation of appetite and satiety. Understanding how the brain regulates food intake normally is critical to help understand how to treat disease such as obesity and anorexia. Scientists have made progress in understanding how feeding is controlled, but we still have a lot to learn.

Dr Nathan Mayne’s talk on “Aliens and the Weather: Exoclimatology” will describe how we find and characterise planets orbiting distant stars, and how we apply techniques used to model Earth’s climate to explore these exotic worlds. Dr Mayne will use cutting-edge, scientifically informed visualisations to attempt to transport audience members to these planets.

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

Pint of Science was established six 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 Michael 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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