A pint, a packet of crisps and an experiment please. Science storms York pubs

18 May 2016 @ 10.23 am
| Entertainment

Six city pubs

Mon May 23- Wed May 25 2016

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You can enjoy a shot of science with your pint later this month when university academics share the latest research in the pubs of York.

University of York scientists will be discussing all manner of topics from innovation and transparency in healthcare to the secrets of quantum physics.

There will be live experiments, demonstrations and even opportunities to win prizes as part of the annual three-day Pint of Science festival.

Coordinator Dr Pierre-Philippe Dechant said:

The university is full of scientists busily doing cutting-edge research in a huge range of scientific disciplines, but they rarely get to share their work with the rest of the city.

Pint of Science gives them the opportunity to do just that in everyone’s favourite venue: the pub.

The events aren’t just aimed at science-types. They’ll explore themes that touch on art, music, and history as well as the environment and health.

Pubs taking part are The Eagle and Child, Walmgate Ale House, Guy Fawkes Inn, The Fulford Arms, The Winning Post, and The Blue Boar.

Here are six highlights…

The Intimate Universe

Scientists discuss life, the universe and everything. Photograph: Pint of Science on Facebook
Scientists discuss life, the universe and everything. Photograph: Pint of Science on Facebook

Walmgate Ale House

Mon May 23 7.30–10.30pm

£4

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Astronomy blows our minds and beguiles our eyes with exploding stars, extrasolar planets and supermassive black holes.

Public astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Dr Marek Kukula explains that, to properly understand our own world, high art and popular culture, we need to explore the wider universe of which it is an integral part.

Memory Replay: Controlling What We Remember With Sleep

The Blue Boar, Castlegate

Tue May 24 7.30-10pm

£4

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One of the many functions of sleep is to strengthen newly-formed memories. Research in both animals and humans has shown that the sleeping brain fulfils this purpose by reactivating memories of new experiences across the night.

In this talk, Dr Scott Cairney from the University of York’s School of Psychology shows how memory reactivations in sleep can be manipulated to influence what we remember and reduce social prejudice.

Why Do Animals Have Different Skull Shapes?

Fulford Arms, Fulford Road

Tue May 24 7.30-10pm

£4

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The main jobs of the skull are to process food during feeding and to house and protect the brain and sense organs. These functions are the same across most animals, and yet we see a wide variation in the shape of the skull across the vertebrates.

Dr Philip Cox of Hull York Medical School introduces some of the weird and wonderful skulls found in the animal kingdom and examines how such a diversity of shape has evolved.

Keeping Secrets

It's no secret that science is actually really cool. As is beer. Photograph: Pint of Science on Facebook
It’s no secret that science is actually really cool. As is beer. Photograph: Pint of Science on Facebook

The Winning Post, Bishopthorpe Road

Tue May 24 7.30-10pm

£4

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In the age of the internet, keeping our information secret is becomingly increasingly important. For example, to enjoy the convenience of internet banking we need good codes.

Dr Roger Colbeck from the University of York’s mathematics department explains the ideas behind coding and shows how simple codes be broken. But how good can our codes be?

Videogames and IQ

The Blue Boar, Castlegate

Wed May 25 7.30-10pm

£4

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There’s a lot of hype about “brain games” that make you smarter or enhance your brain capabilities in some way. There are also games that are not really fun to play but have some more serious motive behind their creation.

Athanasios Kokkinakis of the university’s Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence programme talks about how one of the most popular games in the world, League of Legends, can predict to a reasonable extent someone’s mental abilities.

Uncomfortable Games

The Winning Post, Bishopthorpe Road

Wed May 25 7.30-10pm

£4

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Do games always have to make you smile? Dr Ben Kirman of the department of theatre, film and television explores the weird and unsettling world of games purposefully designed to be uncomfortable and awkward.

From games played wearing gas masks or while trapped in a coffin, through to the most embarrassing game ever made – the name of which is simply too rude to print.