Did you know ? The Pint of Science was born in London in 2013. After opening the doors of their lab to the general public, doctors Michael Motskin and Praveen Paul had the idea to bring science… straight to pubs!
The following year, in 2014, the festival was exported to France thanks to Elodie Chabrol. Today, Director of Pint of Science in France and Abroad, she agreed to answer some questions in Science et Vie.
How are science pint nights in pubs?
Generally, we have two to three speakers each evening. First, there is a 20- and 30-minute premiere, then a question-and-answer session. Then there’s the national test: the idea is to have fun with current general science or knowledge questions. Some are a little more difficult than others for challenging participants and goodies Pint of science Ready to grab! (In some bars, the funniest or most inconsequential answer can be rewarded.) Some people come on their own and share their answers with other participants during the test. This small moment creates group chemistry.
Then there is a second presentation of 20 to 30 minutes with questions. Then comes the time to answer the test and distribute the winnings. At the end of the evening, speakers can stay at the bar to discuss and answer questions.
What are the themes that were honored this year and how were they chosen?
We categorize the evenings into 6 different themes that bring together all the sciences: Mind wonders (Neurosciences, Psychology and Psychiatry), From atoms to galaxies (Chemistry, Physics and Astrophysics), our body (Life science), Planet Earth (Earth Sciences, Evolution and Zoology), Star Tech (Technology and Computers), and From humans to civilizations (law, history, politics).
On the other hand, there is no really imposed theme because we want all researchers who wish to be able to participate in the event. There are 400 volunteers and each team organizes its own evenings depending on preferences or current events. Volunteers choose the location of the bar and the theme of the evening. Speakers can be appointed via a call-to-intervention form or at the suggestion of the teams.
What is the purpose of this event?
The goals are multiple: to show that we can enjoy talking about science, to take this discipline somewhat out of its formal framework, and to create a real encounter between scientists and the general public. Moreover, we do not meet “scientists” but people who answer questions in a relaxed atmosphere. The goal is to present a festival that allows both the organizers, the scientists and the public (regardless of scientific level) to have fun. Of course, what helps promote is not the beer but the preparation. In general, the action takes place in small taverns with about forty people. This allows us to be closer and ask more personal questions.
We also support volunteers in organizing their own events. It’s important that they get to choose the bar and speakers they like best, because there’s real satisfaction in the end!
Why did you decide to launch the festival in France?
I co-created the festival in England which I found fascinating. I wanted to do the same again in France and push the festival internationally. It is unique to think that 400 cities around the world will participate in the action at the same time during the same three evenings!
As one of our colleagues once said, “Science Pint is the global home festivalThe idea is to start with “easy” places (capitals, large cities, medium-sized towns) and expand more and more to villages. Last year we organized an evening in a sanctuary in Vercors. Sold out! Generally, we like to showcase research that happens locally with existing scientists Already in the area or event section.
This concept has been very successful all over the world and every year around thirty new countries want to start. This year Denmark and Ecuador join the adventure. I can’t see the end because we’re expanding a little more every year!
Science lovers (or just curious) are expected at pubs May 22-24, 2023! Program and tickets (2 euros) are available at pintofscience.fr.
>> Also read: Does science allow us to discover the truth?
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