Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pint of Science, US

Wow - it's been a while since I wrote anything.  A combination of several academic visits from +Alex Fletcher and Anita Hjelmeland, trying desperately to make some headway on my thesis, and a teething toddler left this blogging effort at the bottom of the pile.  I've got a few posts I need to write to catch up, but I thought I'd start with this one.

Last year, a movement was started in the UK called pint of science who's stated mission is to bring top scientist into pubs to communicate their passion for science to everyman.  They began with 15 pubs in London, Oxford and Cambridge for a several days long festival to great acclaim.  The movement is now spreading, and my good friends +Parmvir Bahia+David Basanta+Arturo Araujo and new friend +Angela Rey decided to start the movement here in the US - aptly named, Pint of Science, US.  They have worked to find their own spin on the theme, and settled on holding both a live event, and also on a podcast, on a monthly basis.  The central theme is the same - communicate what it is that we do as scientists, and why we do it, to the folks with whom we live and work.

The first even was held two weeks ago today at the New World Brewery in Tampa, FL.  I was honored to be asked by my friends to be the first speaker.  This is both a good thing and a bad thing.  The expectations are low (or, undefined), but it is also a difficult ask, because there is no predetermined script to follow.  So, you'll notice some hems and hahs in my podcast.

PB doing the introduction...

The audience at this, the inaugural event, consisted entirely of friends and co-workers, so it felt a little strange telling my life story and trying to convince 'people' that mathematics can help to play a role in cancer research (as everyone knew my life story and DOES mathematical cancer research).  So, in some ways, this event was more difficult than any other event like this that I've done.  Strange to admit, but I was sweating bullets!

Anywho, after some gentle editing from the Pint of Science US team, a podcast emerged and the event was a success.  I had a great time participating, and look forward to the next even when I can have a pint and learn about some neuroscience from our friend Tom Taylor-Clark, at USF.

I certainly recommend coming to the event, and subscribing to the podcasts - which are available on iTunes as well as through the link here.  You can also follow Pint of Science US on G+ or on twitter @pintofscienceUS for updates.

Have a pint, talk about science.