Event brings scientists to a pub near you in Victoria, Nanaimo
So an astronomer, a marine biologist, and a physicist walk into a bar.
“Did you hear the one about talking fish?” asks the biologist.
It’s not a joke, but is an evening which promises to be entertaining and informative.
Two dozen local scientists are taking their research to the people, with talks at four Victoria pubs, as part of the “A Pint of Science” project.
“We do research which is published in very specialized journals but often, most people don’t read. The idea is to bridge the gap, to get scientists out of the lab, get them in the pub and just talk about their research, just is a very casual way,” said Xavier Mouy, organizer of the Victoria events and University of Victoria scientist.
He promised the scientists will leave the jargon in the lab, and make it so everyone can understand.
Victoria was the first city in Western Canada to take part last year, this year it has expanded and both Nanaimo and Vancouver are also following suit.
Pubgoers who attend the events can expect short presentations on everything from outer space to how technology is used to learn First Nation languages.
Some of the talks will be interactive.
“When possible, they bring the cool equipment they work with, so the public can understand a bit more what we’re doing,” said Mouy.
“I personally believe that communicating our science with the public is incredibly important. It is one of the reasons to do science, is to create public knowledge and use that to solve today’s problems,” said Stephanie Archer, a marine ecologist who has organized the Nanaimo talks.
She studies the noises rock fish make and will be giving one of the presentations.
“It’s fun to be able to play sounds and let people kind of experience what it actually sounds like under water because we think of it as this quiet place but it’s really anything but,” said Rogers.
Four venues are hosting Victoria Pint of Science events, and with 24 speakers it is the second-largest Canadian event after Montreal.
In Nanaimo, sign-up for talks at the two pubs taking part is filling up fast.
Mouy said the idea isn’t only to demystify what scientists do, it’s also to let people know just how much research is happening right here on Vancouver Island.
He said the positive feedback from people after last year’s event was overwhelming.
“They just told me it was fun, and they were super stoked about learning what’s happening locally. Most of the people don’t really know all the things that are happening just in Victoria, so mostly surprised to learn a lot of stuff,”
Pint of Science takes place May 20, 21 and 22.