Pint of Science Sheffield

Sheffield hosted its first Pint of Science this year, where I was involved in the Atoms to Galaxies event “Making Contact”. Here’s a quick recap of the night!


Sheffield hosted its first Pint of Science at four venues around the city from May 23-25th 2016. I’d heard about previous Pint of Science events internationally, but had never attended any of the interesting science talks in the pub, so I was glad to volunteer in Sheffield.

The talks in each location were based on a theme with 8 out of the 12 events selling out! The themes and locations in Sheffield were:

  • Atoms to Galaxies at Bloo88,
  • Tech Me Out at The Roco,
  • Beautiful Minds at Harrisons 1884,
  • Planet Earth at The Doctor’s Orders.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 21.30.38

I volunteered for the Atoms to Galaxies event “Making Contact” on the second night with talks from Simon Goodwin and Tareq Omairi. I’ve been involved in a number of science outreach events in the past so was really looking forward to the relaxed atmosphere and different setting for Pint of Science!

Atoms to Galaxies events in Sheffield for Pint of Science

Here’s a quick recap of the night!

Working alongside a team of volunteers and the event manager for the night, we arrived early at Bloo88 to get set up to make sure the night ran smoothly. It was the first time meeting the rest of the team but we had plenty of time to introduce ourselves and get familiar with our roles before people started to arrive.

The event kicked off at around 7.30pm with University of Sheffield Astrophysicist Professor Simon Goodwin, talking about extra-terrestrial life and techniques that are used to detect planets and life.

The second talk was by PhD student Tareq Omairi on his research sending balloons 40 km above the earth to collect samples to study microbes within our stratosphere. The photos below shows both speakers captivating the audience with their exciting research.

After each talk the audience had the opportunity to put their questions to the speaker, or to discuss further over a pint!

In addition to the talks, there were several activities. The Institute of Physics (IOP) provided a light painting tent to create images as shown below (one of my favourites made by one of the guests on the night).

My role was to help run the other activities which included a ‘Make an alien’ competition, using pipe cleaners! There were some really creative alien figures from the audience and other volunteers! Prizes were provided by the sponsors Mendeley and awarded for the best aliens and best light paintings!

In-house artist Samantha Galbraith captured the night with some wonderful illustrations! See twitter for even more from the night!

At the end of the night, the audience gave some great feedback on their evening in post-it form!

Overall the night was a success! It was great to learn about research in Sheffield outside of my field and it was very positive to have a sell-out event with enthusiastic attendees on the first Pint of Science in Sheffield. The event also couldn’t have happened without all of the hard work of the organisers, event managers and participants, thank you for all the great experience!

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to attend any other events but from the positive response and photos on twitter, Pint of Science, both in Sheffield and beyond, was full of interesting talks, discussion and activities! A great opportunity to showcase fantastic scientific research and spark some interesting questions.

Whilst I won’t be in Sheffield next year, I hope to be able to volunteer my help to Pint of Science in the future, either as an event manager or even potentially as a speaker! Science and a pint, what’s not to love!

Here’s how twitter responded globally to Pint of Science over the 3 days!

Pint of Science was attended by 160000 knowledge-loving people this year and I encourage you to get involved next year!


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