Pint of Science: Science Communication done differently

Research is a complicated endeavor. Revealing the story behind every experiment to a lay audience, outlining the rationale behind the methodology in a succinct way and presenting the findings using a jargon-free language can sometimes be even more complicated.

Nevertheless, the benefits that stem from making research accessible to a wider audience are invaluable for both the research community and the public.

You may have brilliant ideas but if you cannot get them across, what is the point?”, asks Elodie Chabrol, science communication expert and International Director of Pint of Science – a yearly science festival that runs over a few days in May. Science communication is a vital part of the research process and needs to be on the front burner.

As an open access publisher driven by a mission to advance openness in research and change the culture in scholarly communications, Pint of Science was an obvious partnership for us. Every year, Pint of Science brings some of the most brilliant scientists to our local pub where we can explore key topics in science in an unconventional yet fun and engaging setting, and learn from the people responsible for solving real-world problems. It’s science communication done differently.

In 2018, we supported 424 events in 80 cities across the UK, Ireland, Germany, and France bringing together roughly 1,000 scientists and more than 16,000 attendees.

This experience showcased in a profound way the benefits of opening up research to a lay audience not just for the public but most importantly for the research community. The ‘unexpected’ questions from the audience sparked thought-provoking conversations that pushed researchers to think outside the box and inspired them to take their research a step further.

“By putting me in a room with patients and their relatives, Pint of Science brought me face to face with the reality of epilepsy and took me out of my comfortable science bubble. It also showed how much what we do matters to those outside of the scientific community, and in this sense was a motivation booster for me.”, epilepsy researcher Vincent Magloire told us.

As Elodie points out, “science communication can make you a better researcher” and Pint of Science, by moving research out of the lab and into the public domain, is a brilliant example of how pushing the boundaries of conventional science communication methods and tasting the waters in a more open way can help shift the culture in scholarly communications to one that is more inclusive.

The more people we reach, the more open research becomes. Click To Tweet

We are very proud to see Pint of Science rapidly expanding across the globe with events happening in 21 countries. The more people we reach, the more open research becomes. Follow #pint19 on Twitter to keep up-to-date with upcoming events and watch this space for more science communication projects.

Fani Kelesidou is Marketing Communications Manager at Hindawi. 

Opinions in this blog post are that of the author, and not necessarily that of Hindawi. The text in this blog post is by Fani Kelesidou and is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Illustration by Hindawi and is also CC-BY.