Skip to content
Main menu hidden.
Published: 2023-05-09 Updated: 2023-05-10, 10:03

Quench your thirst for knowledge with a Pint of science

NEWS What is enterovirus? How can we look for life on Mars? Why are GMO plants controversial? Is the past closed and the future open? On May 22-24, Pint of Science is organized by the Umeå Postdoc Society at the Elektra pub with fun interactive popular science lectures on widely different topics.

Text: Ingrid Söderbergh

I can't wait another second to share my results with the world so I'm very excited!

One of the participants is Kasturika Shankar. She has seen several recorded episodes of Pint of Science on Youtube and last year she checked out the event live and became interested in participating herself.

"As a researcher, I have a responsibility to share my knowledge and expertise with society. Pint of Science is a very good arena for that and a perfect way for me to share what I am passionate about. It is also very motivating to see people turning up at the pub to hear me speak", says Kasturika Shankar.

She is a PhD student at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Biophysics in the Lars-Anders Carlson lab, whose research group is linked to the Umeå Center for Microbial Research (UCMR).

Simplify but not simple

Explaining the research in simple words to the public is the most exciting part of the performance, she believes. Her plan is to start with basic concepts so everyone is on the same page and use "non-scientific" words to ensure that everyone is included.

"After the COVID-19 pandemic, I think people have an idea of what a virus is, so I think everyone will be able to understand my talk. I will focus on my PhD project where I will outline the questions I want to answer and describe why my research on enteroviruses is important. The lecture has lots of interactive elements, memes and illustrations!

She continues:

"I'm in my last year as a PhD student so I can't wait another second to share my results with the world so I'm very excited! I've been actively participating in popular science events during my bachelor's and master's studies but had to take a bit of a break during the pandemic so I'm happy to be back on stage!"

Important to communicate research

"I feel very enthusiastic but also a little nervous about organizing as good an event as possible for the "after work" audience, says Krishna Chaitanya, postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Biophysics at Umeå University. He is a member of Umeå postdoc Society and "city coordinator" for this year's edition of Pint of Science in Umeå.

He gets involved because he thinks there should always be a connection between what researchers do in the lab and the public and that it is important to communicate what basic research can contribute to society.

"Finding speakers has been a bit of a challenge, but now we have a very good variety of topics for three evenings at the Elektra pub. I hope our speakers are at their best and that the audience engages", says Krishna Chaitanya.

About Pint of Science

Pint of Science has its roots in a 2012 initiative by a group of UK PhD students and postdocs. There is no fixed format and freedom is given to the local organizers in how the events are run. The events aim to have interactive elements, from demonstrations to quizzes, entertainment or robots.



Monday 22 May

18.00: "Social Simulation" with Maarten Jensen

18.30: "The viral presentation" with Kasturika Shankar

19.00: "Moral philosophy of procreation" with Kalle Grill

19.30: Mingle and network

Tuesday 23 May

18.00: "Global inside: advanced producer service companies, regions, and globalization" with Maria Podkorytova

18.30: "Genetically Modified Plant Foods" with Stefan Jansson

19.00: "The Openness of the Future" with Nils Franzen

Wednesday 24 May

18.00: "From A to Z and Everything in Between: the wacky and wonderful world of DNA structures” with Pallabi Sengupta

18.30: Activity

18.45: "Searching for life on Mars using Raman spectroscopy" with  Lucas Demaret

19.15: Activity

19.30: "How I ended up in a newspaper for destroying museum samples. The story of a tree necromancer” with Francisco Gil Muñoz

For more information, please contact:

Kasturika Shankar
Other position