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Pint of Science 2016 – Comp engineer, Dr. Ronan O Higgins, spoke about Composites: Superplastics for Aeroplanes at the event. Picture: Alan Place/Fusionshooters

A massive crowd gathered at JJ Bowles Pub in Limerick last Wednesday, May 25 for a free scientific event called Pint of Science. This novel idea brings scientists to the local pub where they discuss their research with the general public. Luckily for us in Limerick there is a wealth of scientists and engineers based in the University of Limerick 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 give 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’. So for anyone who was interested in this software giant, it proved to be a very informative and interesting topic. 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 fantastic 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’. Sometimes we just take for granted the components used to build an aircraft. 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, 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 event is organised and sponsored by University of Limerick’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, Lero, SSPC, MACSI and the Bernal Institute. Pint of Science in Limerick was a great night with exceptional talks. All the topics of discussion proved to be very interesting and really engaging to the pub goers. 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.

See www.pintofscience.ie for more details.

To like Pint of Science on Facebook click here.
To follow Pint of Science on Twitter click here. 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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