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Enjoy a drink – and a serving of science – at new event

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Experts from the University of Stirling will swap the lecture theatre for the pub as they present their scientific discoveries to patrons of a local whisky bar.

Over three nights in May, leading academics will deliver a series of talks at the Curly Coo, in Stirling, as part of the popular Pint of Science Festival.

University Principal, Professor Gerry McCormac; Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Professor Maggie Cusack; and Dr Christian Schröder – the only UK scientist working on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity mission – will be among the speakers.

It will be the first time that Stirling has participated in the festival, which launched five years ago in a bid to promote the work of scientists to a wider audience. Today, Pint of Science holds events in almost 300 cities globally and has been recognised by the Prime Minister for its voluntary work and making a change in the community.

Professor McCormac, who will deliver a presentation on the world of carbon dating, said: “The Pint of Science Festival has quickly become a popular event for scientists around the world to share their research with the public in a fun and relaxed environment.

“I am delighted that Stirling will host its first Pint of Science event. Public engagement, such as this, is vitally important to the University in terms of demonstrating the impact of our teaching and research on society.

“On a personal note, I am really looking forward to being involved in the inaugural Stirling event and presenting my work in the convivial surrounds of the Curly Coo.”

Nine presentations will take place over three differently themed nights, organised by student volunteers, with staff support, and sponsored by the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Monday 14 May: Nature vs Nurture vs Drugs

Academics will discuss the roles of different aspects of our lives on our fitness, looking at how genetics, training and drug taking can alter fitness and ability.

  • Dr Naomi Brooks (Senior Lecturer in Sport): The nature of health and performance
  • Dr Lee Hamilton (Lecturer in Sport, Health and Exercise Science): The nurturing effects of exercise
  • Dr Paul Dimeo (Senior Lecturer in Sport): The drugs don’t work… or do they?

Tuesday 15 May: Sex and Bats and How Beavers Roll

This session will look at different aspects of ecology; specifically, the reintroduction of beavers, the evolution of sex, and some of our most charismatic native species.

  • Professor Kirsty Park (Professor in Conservation Ecology): How to study bats
  • Dr Alan Law (PhD research student): The return of the beaver
  • Dr Stuart Auld (Research Fellow): The evolution of sex

Wednesday 16 May: Science Rocks

Experts will consider whether there could be life on Mars, whether seashells act as thermometers, and how we can use carbon dating to answer important questions.

  • Dr Christian Schröder (Senior Lecturer): Life on Mars?
  • Professor Maggie Cusack (Dean of Natural Sciences): Seashells are thermometers
  • Professor Gerry McCormac (Principal and Vice-Chancellor): Carbon dating and all that jazz

All events will take place upstairs in the Curly Coo, at 51 Barnton Street, Stirling. Doors open at 7pm on each night with talks between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.

Entry is by ticket only. Tickets, priced at £4, can be purchased here.

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