PubhD Edge Hill starts on Friday!

A new PubhD has its first event this Friday!

It is being organised by Elliot Hughes, a post-graduate student at Edge Hill University.

And they have very nice artwork to go with their launch.

PubhD Edge Hill

PubhD Edge Hill

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PubhD Sheffield starts next week!

A couple of years ago, ScienceGrrl ran a few PubhD events in Sheffield. However, it’s been dormant since then.

Now Devon Smith and Emily Fisk are starting up PubhD Sheffield officially, with their own Twitter account and a shiny new website.

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 started in Nottingham in January 2014 and now there are 20 branches around Europe! A full list can be found on the PubhD Locations page.

The first PubhD Sheffield event is next week on Wednesday 2 November 2016 at Harrisons 1854.

The speakers and topics are:

  • Isobel Williams: Giving meaning to feelings in Functional Neurological Symptoms
  • Billy Bryan: Making medics mindful with feedback
  • Emily Fisk: “Starve a Fever, Feed a Cold” – uncovering metabolism and how it could help fight antimicrobial resistance

Full event details can be found here.

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PubhD arrives in London!

It’s taken a few years for it happen, but PubhD London starts next week with their first event on 27 October 2016.

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.

Robyn Waite and friends launch PubhD London with the following speakers:

  • Cerys Bradley, a PhD student at UCL studying Crime and Security Science, who’ll be exploring what privacy is and how we preserve it.
  • Jessica Simpson, a PhD student studying sociology at City University. Her research explores student sex workers.
  • Sahra Rae Taylor, a PhD student at City University in International Politics. Her research explores ‘Cosmopolitanism’ and how this is linked to education.

The event is at Topolski, Waterloo.

More details: https://www.facebook.com/events/200414003714924/

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PubhD Évora’s first event: 16 June 2016

Portugal has another city hosting PubhD events!

Évora joins the other Portuguese PubhD locations of Lisbon, Guimarães and Braga. Their first event details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1731977603745258/

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.

More information can be found at the PubhD Évora Facebook page, or you can follow their Twitter account, @PubhDEvora.

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PubhD Bristol’s first event: 1 June 2016

Another city gets to host a PubhD event: PubhD Bristol launches with their first event on Wednesday 1 June 2016. It will take place at The Robin Hood pub on St Michael’s Hill.

PubhD Bristol is being organised by Travis Bacon and Arne Scott.

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 line up is:

  • Pam Lock: PhD student at the University of Bristol: “Drinking & Drunkenness in Victorian Fiction”.
  • Helena Quilter, PhD student in Sustainable Plastics at the University of Bath: “Pining for Plastics”.
  • Jake Barber, MRes Health Sciences at the University of Bristol: “Little Pricks: Improving the Efficiency of Nanospikes Against Bacteria”.

More information can be found at their Facebook group, their website or on Twitter.

Full details about the first event can be found here.

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.

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Smelly Science

We had our 23rd PubhD Nottingham event last night – and it was also our two year birthday.

PubhD 2nd Birthday

We had three fantastic speakers (Helen Drew, Andy Chick and Sam Morley) talking about subjects as diverse as History, Forensic Entomology and Mathematics. Fascinating talks, very entertaining Q&As.

I wanted to share an anecdote provided by Andy.

But first, some background.

Andy is researching Forensic Entomology – “the application and study of insect and other arthropod biology to criminal matters”. Basically, using insects such as blue bottle flies, and the eggs they lay, to establish an approximate “time of death” of a person – or more accurately, the minimum length of time a body has been lying around in, say, some woodland.

Andy Chick - Forensic Entomology

Andy Chick – Forensic Entomology

Andy’s specific area of research is to investigate if smoking effects the estimates of time of death. Nicotine is known to be an insecticide. If a person was a smoker, does this need to be taken into account during the calculations?

The best human analogue for these types of experiments are pigs. Pigs are similar to humans in many ways (fat content, body mass, hair-to-skin ratio, etc), which makes them the ideal for forensic experiments. Andy’s experiments involved essentially injecting nicotine into (already deceased) pigs that were not fit for consumption. He then observed them over many days to see if the nicotine changed the behaviour of insects, their eggs and their young.

During the Q&A and I asked the obvious question: how smelly was this work?

And here comes the anecdote. Apologies to any sports scientists…

Andy and his colleague shared a lab with the sports science department. As you can imagine, there were a lot of complaints from the sports scientists. The smell. The flies. The smell. The flies. The rotten sticking pigs. The flies. The smell. It was bad.

One day Andy returned to the lab to see another massive argument was in progress between his colleague and one of the sports scientists. Andy arrived just in time to witness his colleague scream:

You know what that smell is? It’s the smell of real science!