Now in its fifth year, Pint of Science is a non-profit organisation that brings some of the “most brilliant scientists” to a local pub to discuss their latest research and findings.
“Science can often get lost in translation, leading to the spread of pseudo-science and myths,” explained festival co-founder Michael Motskin.
“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.”
Festival organisers hire the pub and sell tickets for the event. The participating pubs benefit from food and drink sales.
Bridging the gap
This is the second year that the Star in Guildford, Surrey, has hosted a Pint of Science event, and it said it is a great way to pull in extra trade on weekday evenings.
“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are historically quiet, so it’s nice to get people in,” said manager Georgina Baker.
“We have had a real mix of people both from a scientific background and people who would normally go to the pub who are mildly interested in science. It bridges the gap, and brings science into the more normal, less scary, domain of a pub rather than a lecture hall.”
Baker said she believes a pub’s informal atmosphere helps attract the crowds.
“Pubs thinking about getting involved should 100% go for it, it’s a really good concept,” she said.
The first Pint of Science festival was held in May 2013 across London, Oxford and Cambridge, and has now spread to more than 175 cities around the world.
No reason not to take part
Boris de Klein, assistant manager of the Greenbank, Bristol, said the pub had been taking part in the festival for the past couple of years.
“Each event is fully booked, there’s no downside for us having it on – we always get a crowd,” he said. “We are a community pub, we are trying to encourage discussion, and to get people chatting. It’s in our nature as a pub to try and encourage these types of things.”
A spokesman for the festival said: “There is a time-honoured tradition in the UK of dissecting complex topics over a pint at the pub – Watson and Crick famously solved the structure of DNA at a pub in Cambridge.
“Here, at Pint of Science, we want to uphold this fantastic tradition.”