Pint of Science Exeter 2018

Alumni Annual Fund supports Pint of Science 2018

Pint of Science Exeter 2018, which was supported by the Alumni Annual Fund, was hosted over three nights between 14-16 May.

Each night had four events running simultaneously at local venues, the City Gate, the Phoenix, the Oddfellows and the Ship, all covering a different science theme. The funding obtained from the Alumni Annual Fund was used across a wide range of areas such as hiring venues, and obtaining science kits to engage the public more interactively.

An example of some of the sold-out events that were held can be seen below:

City Gate – ‘Atoms to Galaxies’

Over the three nights at the city gate, Pint of Science explored a wide range of physics, from the small scale world of impossible ‘metamaterials’ to the much larger scale of planets and life outside our solar system. One particular highlight was the google cardboard VR headsets which had been bought using the Alumni Annual Fund funding. This allowed the public to take a tour of real exoplanets to give them a flavour of the climates of faraway worlds using a virtual reality Youtube video made by scientists from the Astrophysics group at the University of Exeter.

The Phoenix – ‘Planet Earth’

At the Phoenix, attendees enjoyed hearing about planet Earth. Over the three nights there were talks from the Met Office, who talked about the science behind the cloudy British skies and how we can improve weather forecasts and climate projections. There was also a talk from an Eden Project scientist, and who talked about how to protect bananas from fungus and disease. The Alumni Annual Fund money was used here to secure the Phoenix as a venue for Pint of Science, as well as helping bring in the scientist from the Eden Project.

The Ship – ‘Beautiful Minds’

At the Ship, the crowd learnt about the amazing efforts scientists are making at the University of Exeter to understand dementia, as well as hearing about the mysterious world of social identity and illusions.

The Oddfellows – ‘Our Bodies’

The theme at the Oddfellows was ‘Our Bodies’. Speakers talked about the body’s building blocks and how flies, yeast and algae can be used to understand our bodies. The Alumni Annual Fund supported this event through providing the means to buy DNA extraction kits and microscopes. The microscopes allowed participants to see various structures at higher resolution, and people were really interested to play about with them and see high resolution images of their own bodies. Lots of people took part in the DNA extractions and people took home their DNA. It was a simple, yet fun experiment that many people enjoyed doing.

Pint of Science is designed to bring research out of the laboratory and help everyone engage with it in a fun environment. It now takes place simultaneously in 100 cities around the world and is the largest festival of public science. The Exeter events were hugely popular and revceived some great feedback.

Date: 5 June 2018

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