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Pint of Science and the Mad Atoms Tea Party

Professor Ursel Bangert, gave an animated talk on ‘Mad Atoms Tea Party’ at this year's Limerick Pint of Science.
  • Prof Ursel Bangert

Last week saw the annual scientific event, Pint of Science, kick off at JJ Bowles Pub in Limerick. This novel idea brings scientists to the local pub where they discuss their research with the general public. Limerick has a wealth of scientists and engineers based in the UL who were up for a pint but were also delighted to talk about their research.

The main aim of Pint of Science is to use effective communication that ensures public acceptance and understanding of science. The presenters gave the audience a better understanding on how their research findings impact every-day life.

Lero researchers Dr Fayola Peters and Dr George Crispos spoke about how ‘Google knows when you went to the pub’. MACSI PhD student, Kevin Brosnan, is passionate about solving real life problems by developing new statistical techniques. His presentation topic was ‘Elite Athletics: Is the false start rule appropriate?’ It’s amazing how small movement in sports can be associated with maths and statistics.

MaREI/ECE Postdoctoral researcher Dr Joseph Coleman, opened the audience up to ‘Marine robotics: explorers and workhorses of our oceans’. This talk focused on how to enable more efficient human-robotic interaction in the ocean. Later on that evening, moving from sea to air, IComp engineer, Dr Ronan O’Higgins, spoke about ‘Composites: Superplastics for Aeroplanes’.

Professor Ursel Bangert, gave an animated talk on ‘Mad Atoms Tea Party’. Watching atoms with a powerful microscope enables you to see how the materials dance, collide and assemble.

MSSI researcher Dr Claudia Coughlan, added some brightness to the night with ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, offering up information on the fastest growing energy sector, solar energy.

Finally, Eavan Fitzgerald from Education and Health Sciences ended the evening with a very poignant topic ‘Stick your NECK out and get a HEAD of cancer’, giving the audience much food for thought.

The Limerick Pint of Science is organised and sponsored by University of Limerick’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, Lero, SSPC and MACSI. All the topics of discussion proved to be very interesting and really engaging. Not only does this unique and novel idea bring future scientific ideas and research to the local pub, it also showcases major research and demonstrates the importance for scientists from all disciplines to be able to communicate to the public.

Outside of Limerick, Pint of Science events are taking place in Galway, and across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, USA and Australia. Established in 2012 by Michael Motskin and Praveen Paul, two research scientists at Imperial College London, the event started by bringing together. Researchers and people affected by Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis were brought into their labs and the research was demonstrated to them. It was inspirational for both visitors and researchers.

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