Pint of Science comes to Bath

The national science festival, Pint of Science, is coming to Bath for the first time this year, bringing the best scientists to share their latest research at a pub near you from 19-21 May.

The three day festival will host events at 44 venues in eight cities across the UK. The format is simple: down-to-earth talks by top scientists in the most relaxed setting possible – the pub!

On Monday 19 May at The Curfew in Cleveland Place, Dr Chris Pudney, from our Department of Biology & Biochemistry, will be talking about the biology of enjoying a pint.

He said: "Alcohol is made by nature without humans needing to be around. Monkeys, for example, love to get trollied on fermented fruit. What is weird is that humans use the exact same biological process to deal with the toxic effects of drinking alcohol.

“Pint of Science is a brilliant opportunity to think and talk about some pretty high level concepts without getting bogged down in jargon.”

On the same evening at the same venue, Dr Sally Adams from our Department of Psychology will talk about how alcohol affects the way you behave and think.

She said: “Given that alcohol is a widely used substance, I feel a strong responsibility to communicate our research findings on alcohol and the brain to a wider audience. Pint of Science is a fantastic opportunity for me to debunk some of the myths surrounding alcohol use as misinformation on this topic is widespread.

“My talk will examine how alcohol affects our behaviour in terms of attraction, aggression, decision-making and performance of everyday activities, so hopefully there is something for everyone.”

Organised by University of Bath postgraduate students, the festival is an opportunity to hear from and discuss research with top academics from the University over a glass of your favourite tipple. As well as talks and discussions, there will be pub quizzes and other activities to get involved in.

Laura Cocker, a student from our Doctoral Training Centre in Sustainable Chemical Technologies who helped organise the event, said: "The pint of science festival is a great opportunity for people to come and hear about the cutting edge science happening right under their noses in their home town. It’s also a great opportunity for us as scientists to share our research with the people who will feel its benefits in the future."

Another student on the organising team, Pip Griffiths, a PhD student in Psychology, added: “Science is for everyone. The research we do at the uni is in part publicly funded so the public have a right to share in the research we conduct and the knowledge that we unlock about the world we live in!

“Events like Pint of Science help to keep the community informed about our work and also help give something back - all wrapped up in an informal and fun environment!”

Events take one of four different themes:

•           Matters of the Mind (The Bell Inn, Walcot St) – all about the brain: from how memories are formed, to how robots could one day attend meetings for us

•           Our Body (The Curfew, Cleveland Pl) – all about the body: from the science of being drunk, to whether it’s attitude or diet that has most influence on our health

•           Physics, Engineering, and Chemistry (St James Wine Vaults, St James St) – talking about artificial intelligence in power systems and colour changing cars

•           Planet Earth (The Assembly Inn, Alfred St) – all about the earth: from scanning beehives to recycling smart phones

The festival is taking place in Bath, London, Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, York, Bristol, and Glasgow.

Tickets are £2.20 and full event details are available from www.pintofscience.com

Full list of speakers:

Physics, Engineering and Chemistry
Venue: St James Wine Vaults, St James St

Monday 19 - 'The wonders of chemistry'
Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo on biofuel cells
Dr Toby Jenkins on advanced wound dressings

Tuesday 20 - 'Managing alternative Energy'
Dr Simon Le Blond on artificial intelligence in power systems
Professor Alison Walker on sustainable solar energy

Wednesday 21 - 'Physical Sciences and future technologies'
Professor Chick Wilson on designing smart materials (and colour changing cars...)
Dr Chris Bannister on alternative fuels for vehicles

Planet Earth
Venue: The Assembly Inn, Alfred St

Monday 19 - From pollination to pollution
Dr Mark Greco on Breakfast without bees
Dr Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern on urban water and decreasing water contamination

Tuesday 20 - Future fuels
Professor Saiful Islam on green energy materials in 3D
Dr Valeska Ting on hydrogen storage and sustainable energy

Wednesday 21 - Waste not, want not
Dr Janet Scott on recycling electronics
Dr Darrell Patterson on using waste products such as seashells for industrial processes

Matters of the Mind
Venue: The Bell Inn, Walcot St

Monday 19 - Making and breaking memories
Professor Roland Jones will be discussing the role of brain rhythms in speech and memory, and discuss how rhythms go badly wrong in diseases like epilepsy.
Dr Chris Bailey will focus on memories and treating disorders such as post traumatic stress and addiction.

Tuesday 20 - The unconscious Mind
Professor Paul Salkovskis, Dr Lia Emanuel and Dr Ian Walker will focus on how the unconscious mind takes control of and can impact physical behaviour. Ranging from your automatic choice about your commute to work, mimicking mannerisms to the devastating effects of OCD and anxiety disorders.

Wednesday 21 - Are friends electric?
We are increasingly living our lives online, to what extent does this overlap with our real lives? Dr Mark Brosnan and Prof Danae Stanton Fraser will be questioning the relationship between the virtual and the real world. Considering topics such as how can virtual worlds support social interaction in people with Autism, and whether there is a future where robots attend meetings on our behalf?

Our Body
Venue: The Curfew, Cleveland Pl

Monday 19 - Booze, bodies and brains
We all enjoy the odd pint or two, but how does the body respond? Dr Chris Pudney will discuss the biological processes involved in enjoying a good pint and keeping you sloshed, while Dr Sally Adams will talk about the repercussions and the painful after effects known as the dreaded hangover.

Tuesday 20 - You are what you eat?
When modifying your body, which has the most influence: attitude or diet? Lifestyle choices affect the young to old, but to what extent does our diet influence our health or is it more important to have a positive outlook? Dr de Pian will discuss how health is portrayed in schools, focusing on the importance of a positive body image in comparison to goal oriented health. While Dr Van Den Elsen will consider the impact of sugar on proteins in the body and how detection of these changes can help in prediction and prevention of disorders such as alzheimer's.

Wednesday 21 - Death: a pain in the neck. How can technology help?
Technology is pervasive in fixing the body and in breaking it down. When we are in pain technology can help mend us Dr Tim Holsgrove will be discussing innovative spinal treatments. Technology can also help when our body finally fails us, Dr John Troyer will discuss 'green' body disposal and the future of these technologies.

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