Next week: PubhD Liverpool’s first event

We’re writing quite a few posts like this at the moment.

So far in 2016, four PubhDs have started up: Norwich, BirminghamPubhD UMinho and Newcastle.

Now it’s Liverpool’s turn to get a shiny new PubhD.

It’s being started up by Kat Ford and their first event is on Thursday 10 March 2016, at The Vines pub.

At each PubhD event, three researchers from any subject area explain their work to an audience in a pub in exchange for a drink or two. The talks are at a “pub level” – the idea is that you don’t have to be an academic to understand the talks.

The first three speakers at PubhD Liverpool are:

  • Benjamin Mummery (Astrophysics)
  • Sophie Irwin (Cell Biology)
  • Martin Grunnill (Epidemiology)

More information can be found at the PubhD Liverpool Facebook group, or you can follow their Twitter account, @PubhD_Liverpool.

Full details about the first event can be found here.

pubhd logo with text cased 615x210

Starting this month: PubhD Newcastle

Last month we saw Norwich, Birmingham and PubhD UMinho host their first events. On 25 February 2016, PubhD Newcastle hosts their first event.

PubhD Newcastle's first event

PubhD Newcastle’s first event

At each PubhD event, three researchers from any subject area explain their work to an audience in a pub in exchange for a drink or two. The talks are at a “pub level” – the idea is that you don’t have to be an academic to understand the talks.

For Newcastle’s first event, the research topics are:

  • Should adolescent children should have their own distinct set of rights? – Tracy Kirk
  • Entrepreneurship, Education, Learning and Threshold Concepts – Lucy Hatt
  • The provision of free legal advice within communities and where there are gaps in provision following cuts to legal aid and changes to the legal system due to government austerity measures – Chris Simmonds

PubhD Newcastle is being run by by Elaine Campbell, a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria Law School, and Rebecca Prescott who is currently undertaking her doctoral research in urban regeneration and artistic place-making.

More information can be found at the PubhD Newcastle website, or follow their Twitter account @PubhDNewcastle.

Another PubhD starting up in Portugal: PubhD UMinho

In October 2015, PubhD Lisboa started.

Later this month, another PubhD is starting up in Portugal.

It is called PubhD UMinho (i.e. Universidade do Minho) and will run monthly across two cities in the north of Portugal: Braga and Guimarães.

At each PubhD event, three researchers from any subject area explain their work to an audience in a pub in exchange for a drink or two. The talks are at a “pub level” – the idea is that you don’t have to be an academic to understand the talks.

PubhD UMinho’s first event is in Guimarães on 28 January 2016.

PubhD UMinho's first event

PubhD UMinho’s first event

More details can be found here:

Two new PubhDs start this month! Introducing PubhD Norwich and PubhD Birmingham

Exciting times! PubhD Norwich and PubhD Birmingham have just been added to the (growing) list.

PubhD Norwich’s first event is on 26 January 2016 at The Cellar House, which is near the University of East Anglia. PubhD Norwich is being run by Victoria MacDonald and Grahame MacDonald, who conveniently own The Cellar House!

You can find details about their first speakers at http://thecellarhouse.co.uk/events/pubhd-january/

PubhD Norwich

PubhD Norwich

And on 27 January 2016, PubhD Birmingham kicks off. Their first event is at The Victoria pub, which is near New Street Station. PubhD Birmingham is being organised by Emma Dunne and Katie Oliver.

You can find details about the topics of the first event at https://www.facebook.com/events/929379420509614/

Event logo

How’s PubhD going? Very well!

I realised that this blog has not had any posts recently, so I thought I’d write something. New PubhD Logo-200x200-by Barbara Griffin

PubhD is still going strong, and is still spreading to other cities.

At Nottingham we’re fully booked to July 2016. July 2016! We can’t give concrete dates for events beyond that as we have to wait for the football fixtures to be announced in June 2016 (we don’t like to hold an event on the same day as a football match as the pub gets very busy pre-match and makes it difficult to prepare the room ahead of our event). Any speakers that want to speak in August 2016 and beyond can still contact us to leave their details and we’ll get back in touch when we have firm dates.

PubhD Nottingham - we have an average attendance of about 40. Standing room only when 60 people attend!

PubhD Nottingham – we have an average attendance of about 40. Standing room only when 60 people attend!

PubhD Leicester have their 11th event next month and is booked up into 2016. They’re full to February 2016 and have just booked a speaker for May 2016. Get in touch if you want to speak in Leicester.

Recent additions to the PubhD family include Manchester, Dublin and Brighton. Contact details can be found on this page if you’d like to attend or speak.

Karolina Badzmierowska presenting at PubhD Dublin

Karolina Badzmierowska presenting at PubhD Dublin

PubhD speakers only have access to a whiteboard - no Powerpoints allowed! (Image from PubhD Brighton)

PubhD speakers only have access to a whiteboard – no Powerpoints allowed! (Image from PubhD Brighton)

And we’ve finally broken out of the British Isles. PubhD Lisboa now exists!

Pubhd Lisboa

Pubhd Lisboa

They had their first event last week and the organiser, Sérgio Pereira, said:

The first PubhD Lisbon was a success! More than 20 people came to the event and engaged in a lively conversation. The speakers just loved it.

Want a PubhD in your city? They are easy to set up, speakers love speaking at them, and the audience loves hearing about the research happening on their doorstep. Get in touch – we can answer your questions, provide some tips and advice and and hopefully help you get going.

Introducing PubhD Leicester!

PubhD is a monthly event that showcases local research to the public. It has a very New PubhD Logo-200x200-by Barbara Griffin
simple format
and is popular with both punters and speakers.

Leicester Skeptics In The Pub hosted the very first PubhD Leicester event as a one off. One of the speakers at that event, Katie Dexter, loved the experience so much that she’s decided to make PubhD Leicester a regular thing.

Katie has created a website and a Twitter account and is now looking for volunteers to speak.

If you are a PhD* student (in any academic area) and are interested in explaining your work to a friendly audience in a pub in exchange for a pint or two, please get in touch. The next event is on 26 February and PubhD Leicester plans to run monthly after that.

*Or a EngD, or a EdD, or have already completed your PhD, or a post-doc (basically, want to talk abut any research that you’ve been involved in!).

Related links

Can you explain your PhD in a pub in Manchester?

Introducing PubhD Manchester

PubhD is a monthly event that showcases local research to the public. It has a very New PubhD Logo-200x200-by Barbara Griffinsimple format and is popular with both punters and speakers.

PubhD Nottingham has been going for a year now. Over 30 local researchers have spoken about their research to a pub full of interested people.

Events have also taken place in Lincoln, Glasgow, Sheffield and Leicester.

Now, Manchester is about to join that list.

If you are a PhD student, or postdoc, at the University of Manchester, MMU or Salford University, and want to speak at PubhD Manchester, please get in touch.

Related links

University of Nottingham Research Showcase

Sometimes running PubhD can be tough, it isn’t all playing with whiteboards and getting the next round in. Last wednesday was one of those times. The University of Nottingham was holding it’s annual showcase of research at which students use posters to summarise their ideas and provoke questions. It reminded me of our regular monthly PubhD events and so I thought I’d pay a visit.

I had to take a day off work to spend a sunny afternoon in the leafy surrounds of Nottingham University. As I said, sometimes running PubhD can be tough. After a quick refreshing drink on the banks of the boating lake, the rest of the afternoon was spent looking at research posters and chatting to the students.

There were two main styles; the visually interesting which provoked you to ask questions, and the information heavy…which also provoked you to ask questions. Here are a selection of some of my favourites (click the images to embiggen):

Louise Kettle - Politics and International Relations

Louise Kettle – Politics and International Relations

Beili Shao - Clinical Sciences

Beili Shao – Clinical Sciences

Chris Gaffney - Life Sciences & Medicine

Chris Gaffney – Life Sciences & Medicine

There were over 50 finalists and there simply wasn’t enough time to speak to everyone – the above is just a small sample of the outstanding work on show. So, I’ll just leave you with the overall winner, who was very much in the “give a lot of information to provoke questions” category:

Kamaljit Moirangthem - Biosciences

Kamaljit Moirangthem – Biosciences

The showcase was followed by a keynote speech by Simon Singh who was very kind enough to give PubhD and Nottingham Skeptics a big 20 feet tall plug.

Can you Explain your PhD in the Pub?

If you’re not familiar with Simon’s work, there aren’t many people who work harder to promote science and critical thought, or to fight pseudoscience in all its forms. You can learn more about his work at www.simonsingh.net.

What’s My Name?

One of the things we looked forward to most when setting up PubhD was the interesting and surprising questions that people would ask our speakers. It’s why the Q&A is twice as long as the talk.

However, we didn’t expect to be asked “How do you say PubhD?” We like our puns and thought the pun was obvious.

It didn’t occur to us that some people are very literal and would try to actually read it. Which comes out as “Pub-hud”, or if you’re Irish “Puvud”, which makes no sense. No wonder people were asking us how to pronounce it!

This simple typo from Simon Singh will help us explain…

Even the scourge of Chiropractors can get confused by how you say PubhD

Even the scourge of Chiropractors can get confused by how you say PubhD

PubhD is a word merge or werge (if you want to be all QI about it, it’s a portmanteau). PubhD werges Pub and PhD to make. Pub…hD. You could also try thinking about it if the Pub was in High Definition. Pub HD. (But it’s definitely not written as PubHD. It’s definitely written PubhD.)

Regardless of how you say it, PubhD really is excellent and lots of fun, so if you’re lucky enough to have one in your town pop along. If not, start one! There is some very simple advice for creating you’re own PubhD here: http://pubhd.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/how-to-set-up-a-pubhd-and-get-some-speakers/

Can you explain your PhD in the pub?

As you can see from the blog header, we’ve rebranded! PubhD-Icon

Quite a few people have commented that they love the idea of PubhD, but could we do something about our tagline? They didn’t like the word “layperson” in the original tagline: “Can you explain your PhD to a layperson?”

To be honest, we didn’t really think too long about the original tagline, just knew that we needed one. We’re not that attached to it!

This comment perfectly explains what is wrong with “layperson”:

About the layperson thing – I guess I’m concerned most that the term is a little antiquated and still a bit of a mildly loaded word like ‘blue-collar’ or ‘working class’, especially when preceded by the abbreviation of ‘PhD’. I wouldn’t want anyone to perceive your fantastic initiative as this being an ‘US’ vs. ’THEM’ kind of event in the way that academia used to be (& still is) dominated by upper-middle class and upper-class people.

A very good point.

We had noticed that a few people had been Tweeting about PubhD, but changing the tagline to “Can you explain your PhD in the pub?”

We like that.

It doesn’t presume anything about the audience. And it also sets the scene: this is a friendly chat amongst friends in a pub, not a Powerpoint led presentation.