Why attend Science in the Pub?

Do you really need an excuse to go to the pub?

Mass media, such as television and the internet, provide a seemingly limitless source of information, but determining which sources of information are credible can be difficult. The monthly Science in the Pub gatherings will explore hot topics in science, with the goal of helping you to sort through and evaluate the evidence available for that subject. Each month we will bring together a panel of people with specific scientific expertise to help you form a rational, evidence-based opinion about the topic of the month.

The setting of the monthly gatherings will be very informal. You can come-and-go as you please (whenever you need a refill) and there is no cost to attend. Each panellist will spend about 10 minutes talking about their experience with the topic and present a summary of the data available for the topic. After this brief introduction to the topic, we will hold an open discussion that is driven largely by questions from the audience. As an added bonus there will be a drawing for a gift certificate for food at the pub!

About Science in the Pub

The goal of Science in the Pub is to promote understanding of and enthusiasm for science in the general public. The monthly gatherings will generally be held on the first Thursday or Friday of each month, but check the events page for specific details.

To this aim Science in the Pub should bring together people who may or may not consider themselves scientists in the shared interest of understanding, criticizing, debating, and learning more about current issues in science. Holding these meetings in a pub will allow this event to reach people who may be discouraged or intimidated by events held in the traditional academic sphere.

Science in the Pub is not a lecture series given by experts; it is a monthly forum where 2-4 panellists deliver short, 10 minute presentations on their experience with the topic and then answer questions from the audience via a moderator. Scientific discussion and debate can then continue informally among attendees after the panel disassembles.

Panellists are selected primarily on their ability to effectively communicate science in a non-technical and engaging manner. The expertise of the panellists will represent a range of backgrounds from STEM academics, researchers and working professionals to members of the public with first-hand knowledge on the subject.

By providing information from varied perspectives, Science in the Pub aims to create an atmosphere that respects different opinions while grounding those opinions in scientific evidence.

The Rules of SciPub

  1. You must talk about SciPub. This monthly event will be sustained by attendees telling their friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers about Science in the Pub. If you enjoy SciPub, then tell someone about it.
  2. This should be an informal, fun event. If you need to re-fill your drink, go to the toilet, or need to leave before the discussion is over, by all means do whenever you need to do.
  3. One primary discussion at a time. Feel free to discuss topics and questions with your neighbour at any time, but keep the volume at a low level so that everyone else can remain engaged in the primary discussion.
  4. Discusions will go on as long as they have to. The moderator and panellists are responsible for keeping the discussion moving forward and on topic, but the moderator will not interfere as long as the discussions are productive and evidence-based.
  5. If someone has the floor, please allow them to finish and do not try to talk over them. Just because you are talking the loudest doesn’t mean that your argument is the strongest.
  6. The most important rule of SciPub is that discussions must be evidence-based. The goal of SciPub is for everyone to have an enjoyable night and improve our ability to evaluate science-based evidence. As part of the open discussion we welcome the opinions of everyone, but keep in mind that opinions and pseudoscience will be treated as such, and that scientific evidence carries more weight.