Some of Griffith University’s biggest names in science will trade the lab for the pub when fun and informative evening sessions kick off at pubs around the country in May.
From May 20-22, Pint Of Science will give Gold Coast and Brisbane residents the opportunity to sit at the cutting edge of science with a beer in hand at various pubs and venues.
Topics include Jellyfish: the good, the bad & the beautiful; Superbugs and vaccines; Down the quantum rabbit hole; Climate adaptation in theory and practice.
Head of Marine Science Professor Kylie Pitt, from Griffith’s School of Environment and Science, is among the university’s science experts appearing on the line-up and said Pint of Science was a fantastic opportunity for the public to learn about the latest research being done by Griffith scientists.
“Since most scientists are publicly funded, we have an obligation to let the public know how research funding is spent, why our research is important and how it contributes to society,” Prof Pitt said.
“For the scientists, Pint of Science is a fun evening that allows us to convey the enthusiasm and passion we have for our research and to hopefully inspire the next generation of scientists.”
Prof Pitt hopes her talk challenges perceptions about jellyfish so that people will consider them friends, not foes.
Eric Cavalcanti is an ARC Future Fellow within Griffith’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, where he works on the foundations of quantum mechanics, which deals with questions around the fundamental nature of quantum reality.
“It sounds like wishy-washy stuff, but it’s actually solid science – and has even been leading to many technological applications in quantum information science,” he said.
“But physicists have traditionally relegated these kinds of ‘philosophical’ questions to be discussed at the pub after work. So talking about it over a pint of beer is actually an ideal situation. This is a great chance to bring some of the cutting-edge science being done at our university directly to the public, in an informal setting where everyone can feel comfortable.”
Associate Professor Kate Seib from Griffith’s Institute for Glycomics, who will present Superbugs and vaccines said it was essential to increase public awareness of the science behind health issues.
“Essentially, even the best vaccines or medicines will not have the impact they should if people don’t understand how they work and don’t want to use them,” she said.
“However, sometimes it can be hard for the public to access clear, useful information about scientific issues. Pint of Science is a great way to bridge some of the gaps that exist between scientists and the community.”
Dr Johanna Nalau from Griffith’s Cities Research Institute will focus on what climate change adaptation is and what some of the common assumptions people make when they think about future changes in our climate and what they can do to adapt.
“It’s increasingly important for scientists to think how to communicate their work to people outside the scientific communities,” she said.
“This is why events like Pint of Science offer an amazing opportunity to have conversations with people about the topic, and perhaps also to enable them to think more deeply about such issues as to how to adapt to climate change.”
Pint of Science started in the UK in 2013 and will this year be showcasing more local research than ever before, with volunteer-led events taking place in more than 19 Australian cities at 154 events.
Pint of Science Australia Co-Director Jirana Boontanjai said they wanted “to show Australians all the interesting research happening right here in our own backyard. Pint of Science is all about having researchers connect with their local community in a familiar, relaxed setting – the pub”.
Pint of Science is on May 20-22, 6:30pm doors for 7:00pm start, at various pubs around Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Griffith speakers will include:
- Dr Ben Vezina
- Peta Zivec
- David Harris
- Amanda Ullman
For full program details and ticket sales visit pintofscience.com.au.