A science festival in a bar

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Cape Town – The University of Cape Town (UCT) is bringing science to the public by hosting a three-day science festival in a bar, in an effort to demystify science and make it accessible to everyone.

UCT’s “Pint of Science” festival aims to deliver interesting and relevant talks on the latest scientific research in a casual environment, removing the barriers between science and the public. This is part of a global initiative that has led to scientific research being shared primarily in bars and pubs around the world.

“The festival takes place annually over three days in the month of May and simultaneously in hundreds of venues across the world,” UCT said in a media statement.

“Each country holds their main events on the same days, bringing the scientific community together.”

The UCT festival will take place from 14-16 May at the UCT Club, which is also a pub. UCT scientists will be converging on the Club to discuss their latest research and findings.

As an emerging economy, South Africa needs active participants in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields such as those promoted by the Pint of Science festival, according to UCT.

However, UCT has pointed out that the country faces a shortage in these sectors and is pushing hard to get students interested in STEM research and career fields.

The Pint of Science festival has already been active in 19 countries. These festivals are aimed at teaching people the importance of science, how it relates to everyday life and just how accessible it can really be.

“Engagements such as these are important as they stimulate an interest in and motivate students to pursue careers in the STEM fields,” UCT said.

Some of the topics that will be addressed include, “A maze within maize”, “Is intelligence fixed or malleable”, and “The future is here and it’s plantastic”.

This year’s themes include atoms to galaxies: physics, chemistry, maths; planet earth: earth sciences, plant science, zoology; beautiful mind: neurosciences, psychology, psychiatry; our body: biology, medicine, health; teach me out: technology, engineering, computing and our society: sociology, public policy, law, history.

“The festival is sure to elicit a range of interesting conversations with innovators in their fields decrypting what they do in a casual environment.”

To find out more, go to www.science.uct.ac.za/event/pint-science

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