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Pint of Science Success for Pharmacy

3 June 2019


As part of the School of Pharmacy’s centenary celebrations, the researchers have brought their science out of the labs and into the pub for three nights of public engagement, partnering with Pint of Science.

Pint of Science, now in its 7th year, is an international non-profit organisation that seeks to link scientists with the general public through talks in pubs and coffee houses. What started out as a simple “meet the researchers” night at Imperial College, the concept has now spread to 400 cities worldwide, one of which is Cardiff.

Taking place every May, Cardiff’s School of Pharmacy were keen to showcase their ground-breaking research, especially give that this October the School will have been welcoming students for 100 years. In light of this approaching milestone the decision was made to take over the Tiny Rebel bar on Westgate Street for three full nights.

As the UK’s top school of pharmacy for research, there was certainly a lot to talk about. On the first night, Andrew Westwell talked about how legal and illegal drugs harm our brains, whilst Ben Newland brought hope with how we can mend minds through science. Night two was themed under the banner of women’s health. Alex White talked about his monumental achievement of having a drug he invented in 1993 – Rucaparib - being brought to the market twenty-six years later. Following on from this James Birchall and Louise Hughes talked about their life-changing project of bringing contraception to African communities through microneedle technology.

STEM Ambassadors

On the final night Chris Thomas and Sion Coulman spoke of how they are pushing twenty-first science forward by developing cheap, ingenious ways of 3D printing skin tissue, whilst Les Baillie told the enrapt audience about how beer could help with the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Head of School, Professor Mark Gumleton said, “It is a privilege and social responsibility of university scientists to engage with the public, and through this engagement to inspire, to enhance understanding and dare I say entertain. The 'Pint of Science’ platform facilitates in a unique manner all of the above. It is truly a delightful and highly effective scientific festival and the 2019 series in Cardiff has delivered yet again.”

Every night saw the venue packed with science enthusiasts eager to learn about the work being undertaken in their city by its researchers. The informal setting of a pub helped to make the atmosphere warm and collegiate, driving home the message that science and curiosity does not only exist in university settings, and in fact thrives outside them.

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