Pint of Science 2015 in York

7 May 2015

Top University of York scientists will swap laboratories for pubs to share their research with members of the public across York this month as they offer a ‘Pint of Science’.


University researchers carry out the most varied, incredible and innovative experiments and studies. To many people this research can sound like science fiction; growing brain cells in a flask, developing nano-particles to carry drugs around the body and discovering dark matter is obvious to scientists, but for the public it is a surprise that these techniques even exist and a mystery as to how and why they may be developed. Our festival is all about getting this sort of amazing information across to non-scientists on a large scale over three nights in a relaxed atmosphere in the heart of a traditional British social gathering, the pub!

Pint of Science wants to make the public aware of the kind of scientific research that happens in universities and to allow them to ask questions directly with the people who carry it out, as well as to give universities and institutions an opportunity to share their research directly with the public across six broad themes: Beautiful Mind, Our Body, Our Society, Atoms to Galaxies, Planet Earth and Tech Me Out.

Each event has at least two speakers and a break with a quiz, bingo or fun science-related interactive activity with the chance to win prizes!

Over 40 York scientists will take part in the three day international Pint of Science festival that will see over 600 events take place in 50 cities across eight countries.

Running from 18 to 20 May, York pubs taking part include The Duke of York, Brigantes, Blue Boar, the Black Swan, the Habit and Fulford Arms.

Each talk costs the price of a pint to attend and topics include: the formation of elements in the Big Bang, in stars and in fusion reactors; glaciers, sustainability and energy; the science of the human voice; biotechnology and the importance of microbes; and forgetfulness, mental resilience, perception and personality.

Established three years ago, The Pint of Science festival was founded by UK postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. Concerned with the way the media portrays science, they wanted to establish a direct relationship with the public by bringing the latest research to the nation’s favourite locals. Pint of Science is now the world’s largest festival of public science lectures, and is run entirely by volunteers.

Dr Pierre-Philippe Dechant, Pint of Science York Co-ordinator, said: “Here in York we do a lot of cutting-edge interdisciplinary science, working across different scientific disciplines. We wanted to bridge other gaps to find connections with the humanities and social sciences, art, music, history, the environment and health, in order to find topics that appeal to non-scientists and scientists alike. It turns out it’s rather easy – life is just too interesting, and doesn’t respect these boundaries.”

Dr Michael Motskin, Festival Co-Founder, said:  “The festival is all about getting each University’s top scientists to present their scientific discoveries in a down to earth setting over a drink or two. 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 UK’s most brilliant academics, away from the stuffy laboratory or lecture theatre.“

Further information and tickets are available from Tickets cost £3.

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