Ever wondered what scientists actually do all day? Science-lovers headed to the pub to find out: this May 23-25th Crick researchers swapped the lab for a lager to deliver a series of talks on topics from cancer to cows.
Pint of Science is an international festival that has exploded in popularity since it was brewed up by two researchers from Imperial College London four years ago. The aim of the festival is to demystify what goes on in the lab, and bring research from the bench to the bar. Graduate students and leading academics present, discuss and take questions on their latest research, over a pint and a packet of crisps.
Under the broad theme of 'Our Body', Crick scientists spanning the fields of molecular biology, mathematics and parasitology gave a range of talks reflecting the cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that takes place at the institute. In addition to getting a chance to chat to the scientists over a beer during breaks, the audience had the chance to extract their own DNA and win exclusive Pint of Science goodies via quizzes and immuno-bingo.
PhD students Bryony Leeke and Charlotte Douglas kicked off the Monday night event by unravelling the early stages of life. Dr John Robert Davis, post-doctoral fellow, wowed the crowd with cool movies of single molecules interacting inside organisms. Group leader Dr Barry Thompson wrapped up the night with a bang with 10 Big Ideas in Science.
Tuesday night saw Post-doc Dr Nil Ege talk about cancer as a metropolis. Graduate student Esther Wershof followed, destroying all preconceptions that maths is boring with a hilarious and interactive discussion on computational approaches to studying cancer. Professor Adrian Hayday had the crowd in awe with an engaging discussion about the reality of curing cancers using immunotherapy.
On Wednesday we walked the tightrope between health and disease with an immunology-themed evening. PhD students Sean O'Farrell and Rafael Di Marco were followed by Dr Eva Frickel's fantastic talk on Toxoplasma: the brain bugs your cat might be giving you.
In the UK alone, Pint of Science held 320 sell-out events in 21 cities. Esther Wershof said: "This was one of the highlights of doing my PhD so far. It was a great evening and everyone there was really enthusiastic about our research!"