Pint of Science

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Pint of Science
Pint of Science Logo.png
Global Science Festival
FoundedSeptember 2012
FounderDr Praveen Paul and Dr Michael Motskin
TypeNon-Profit Organisation
Area served
UK, Worldwide

Pint of Science is a science festival that aims to communicate contemporary scientific developments to the public in an interesting, engaging and approachable way by bringing scientists to the pub and other accessible places. The festival takes place annually in the month of May and covers all aspects of research which are themed under the titles 'Beautiful Mind', 'Atoms to Galaxies', 'Our Body', 'Planet Earth', 'Tech Me Out' and 'Our Society'.

The 2019 Pint of Science festival will take place 20-22 May in over 400 cities 24 countries. It is mainly run by volunteer postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers who are based at universities.


Pint of Science has its roots in a 2012 initiative by a group of UK based postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.[1] Festival founders Dr. Michael Motskin and Dr. Praveen Paul were then researching different neurodegenerative conditions at Imperial College London and thought that there was a gap between their research efforts and what motivated them. In addition, when discussing their work with friends, especially some of the new techniques being used, such as nanoparticle delivery of drugs to the brain, their friends thought it sounded like science fiction. They felt that it was important to show how scientists conduct research, especially to the individuals and families affected by the conditions that they were working on.[2]

In September 2012, they organised ‘Meet the Researchers’, an event that brought people affected by Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, motor neuron disease, and multiple sclerosis into their labs so that they could see the research being carried out there. They said afterwards: "The guests were fascinated by the approaches being used to try to understand the biological basis of these afflictions and by the latest developments in both basic research and translational efforts. This event was inspirational to everyone involved - researchers and visitors alike. We thought that, if people want to come to labs to meet scientists, why not bring scientists to people? This was the birth of Pint of Science."[2] After running the first festival in May 2013 in three cities, Pint of Science received many emails from people wanting to join the festival - both around the UK and the rest of the world.

Event format[edit]

Pint of Science talk

There is no fixed format and freedom is given to the local organisers for how events are run. Rather than a series of formal talks, Pint of Science aims to recreate the buzz of popular music festivals, offering multiple stages across each city that allow leading experts in various scientific fields to present, discuss and take questions on their latest discoveries and research with members of the public.[3][4] The events aim to have an interactive element, for example involving a range of robots.[5]

Creative Reactions[edit]

The Cambridge, UK Pint of Science team started 'Creative Reactions' - a collaboration between artists and Pint of Science scientists to produce artworks related to the science presented at the talks.[6] They matched artists with their 50 speakers in Pint of Science Cambridge. The artists create a unique piece of art based on their interpretations of the scientific subjects in various forms of art such as illustrations, painting, jewellery, screen-printing, film, dance and more. The result of the collaboration was displayed in the very first Creative Reactions exhibition at the end of the 2015 festival, which had over 700 visitors in Cambridge. Creative Reactions has since expanded to further cities in the UK.


Pint of Science was awarded Points of Light by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2015 and the founders were interviewed about it on London Live television.[7][8] Imperial College London awarded Pint of Science the "President's Inspirational Partner Award for Excellence in Societal Engagement" in June 2017. In 2019 Pint of Science received an award in the University of Oxford's Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards under the 'Building Capacity' category [9]


  1. ^ "BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Scientists set to hit over 70 UK pubs in the Pint of Science festival". The Independent. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Pint of Science festival launches across the UK". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Pint of Science on Today programme". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Creative Reactions". Pint of Science. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  6. ^ "Points of Light". Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  7. ^ "London Live Interview". London Live. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  8. ^ "The Vice-Chancellor's Public Engagement with Research Awards 2019" (PDF). July 2019.