Taking science to the bar 把科學帶到酒吧


Vocabulary: Science 詞匯:科學

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Image caption Beer or Physics: which will make your head spin faster?

Are bars places just to meet friends and chat casually about mundane things? Not any more. Scientists have been organising periodic lectures and experiments in bars in several cities in nine countries. In May, hundreds of them took part in a festival called Pint of Science.

British neuroscience researcher Michael Motskin started the festival with a colleague three years ago in the UK.

But you don't have to be an egghead to follow a discussion. Motskin says: "We ask top scientists to present their scientific discoveries in a down-to-earth setting over a drink or two. We want to give everyone a chance to pick the brains of the UK's most brilliant academics, away from the stuffy laboratory or lecture theatre."

And what do they discuss? Topics range from dark matter to climate change. The science in films such as Star Wars, Star Trek and Interstellar has also proved popular. And a young physicist even demonstrated how a model of the universe can be built from plastic Lego bricks. An audience with a taste for a more practical experience might enjoy the lecture given in a pub in Soho, central London. It was about the effects of beer on the human body.

One might argue that a bit of alcohol helps people relax, freeing their imaginations so that they are better able to contemplate the wonders of the universe. That would make the pub the ideal venue for science - and a handy place to be if you make a big discovery and want to celebrate. Back in the 1950s, scientists James Watson and Francis Crick announced their discovery over a pint at The Eagle pub in Cambridge. And what did they discover? Well, just a little thing called the double helix structure of DNA. It eventually won them a Nobel Prize. Champagne please!