Find the right solution at pub science festival

By Fred A'Court

- Last updated on GMT

Pub science: the annual national Pint of Science Festival is being held over three days from 14 to 16 May
Pub science: the annual national Pint of Science Festival is being held over three days from 14 to 16 May
Brewing the perfect pint of beer is an art and a science. But for a while, next month, it will literally be science that has the upper hand.

For that’s when the annual national Pint of Science Festival is being held. Three days from 14 to 16 May will see more than 500 scientific events held at pubs in 32 cities.

UK pubs taking part range from those as far south as Exeter, Bournemouth, Southampton and Southsea to Stirling in Scotland, Belfast in Northern Ireland and Norwich in east England. Pubs in Swansea and Cardiff are hosting events too.

The festival is organised in pubs at local level by scientists who hold talks on a range of subjects and explain their latest findings. Organisers say scientific knowledge is not needed to attend.

Among the aims of the festival is to break down barriers between scientists and the general public, and to show what scientific research is being done at a local level.

One pub taking part in the festival is the Barley Mow in Southsea, Hampshire. Staff member Edward Cox said the pub had taken part in the festival for a few years. “We normally close off one side of the pub. The festival here is run by people from Portsmouth University. Last year we held it in our main bar and 40 or 50 attended.”

The themes over three days at the pub are an eclectic mix of scientific subjects far removed from the usual banter. There will be presentations on stress, alcohol addition, the origins of language, anxiety, why abductions happen, and how the brain makes decisions.

The festival organisers said: "Each event is unique but, in general, there tend to be two talks per evening that are around 20 to 30 minutes each, with time for questions and answers afterwards.

"No question is too silly – if you really just want to know how much that microscope costs, just ask! There is also a break in between the talks involving activities and where you are in with a chance to win Pint of Science and partners' goodies."

Major partners this year are the British Heart Foundation and academic publisher Hindawi. There are 23 other organisations and companies supporting the festival.

Children are welcome at some events but the organisers suggest that venues are contacted to check because age limits and rules vary.

Events are by ticket entry.

Pubs wishing to host future events can contact the organisers by email at pbagnpg@cvagfbsfpvrapr.pbz​. Applications to start events in cities are usually dealt with in September and October.

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