A Pint of Science

4 July 2014

The Dame Lane area of Dublin’s city centre was recently taken over by those with a passion or curiosity for science. For three days, The Mercantile, Odessa, 4 Dame Lane and The Stag’s Head played host to talks, discussions and demonstrations from some of Ireland’s leading scientists as part of the Pint of Science festival.

DIT’s Dr. Gordon Chambers discussing the addition of calcium to yogurt drinks

Each pub hosted a different scientific area – The Beautiful Mind, Our Body, Technology and Physics – with the IOP providing financial support to the physics section. This was a chance for members of the public to come along and learn about cutting-edge research from the people who are carrying it out, in a relaxed and friendly pub environment.

The Mercantile hosted the Physics events, where 12 speakers and three presenters gave entertaining and informative talks relating to their research. Speakers from Trinity, DCU, UCD, DIT, Teagasc and Met Eireann discussed a diverse range of topics, including Nanotechnology, taking pictures from space, the physics of sport, interstellar alcohol, medical diagnostics, flooding and taking soil into space. Each talk was followed by questions from the audience, which often led to a lively discussion on the topic and its implications.

This was the first time that Pint of Science took place in Ireland, with events in Dublin and Cork. Last year three cities in the UK hosted the festival, while this year it became a global event, taking place over the same three days in six countries around the world.

Sarah Flanagan of the Science Gallery and Dr. Arlene O’Neill of CRANN demonstrating friction

In Dublin over 1,300 tickets were registered within two weeks, the Pint of Science Ireland website got 30,000 views in two months, and the Pint of Science Ireland Facebook and Twitter pages gained 500 followers each. On top of this, over €500 was raised for Irish charities.

The success of Ireland’s events suggests a huge appetite among the Irish population for accessible and interesting scientific discourse. Let’s hope that there are plenty more events like this to come.