In Ireland, the local pub is considered the community living room. That’s happening now with an academic twist in the Queen City at The Shaskeen, where the community gathers once a month for Science on Tap.
This month, guest lecturer Dr. John Sparrow will be discussing psychobiology and visual perception with community members over a few pints during the monthly program.
“We wanted to be informal and casual. Someplace people will feel comfortable,” SEE Science Center design coordinator Adele Maurier said. “It’s not a formal lecture. Someplace where people can learn at their own pace and ask questions as they come to them. Certainly our mission at the Science Center is to make science accessible to everyone.”
Science on Tap is one of four science cafes in New Hampshire. The others are located in Nashua, Lebanon and Portsmouth.
“Science cafe is a movement that started in Europe and has really grown here in the United States,” Maurier said.
Science on Tap features a guest speaker on the second Tuesday of each month at The Shaskeen. It started in November and already has gained a large following.
“It’s been pretty good. We’ve had like just shy of 30, and this one 40 people showed up for [in December], which wasn’t bad for six o’clock,” general manager Neal Brown said. “We try to have something going a little different each night of the week. … It’s a little something no one else really seemed to be offering the area.”
Community members not only get to share some appetizers and a pint and learn something new, but the programs benefit a good cause, too. Five percent of the proceeds from food and drink at the back bar that evening benefit the SEE Science Center.
“We’re off to a great start. We’re happy with the involvement of the community so far. We hope that people just continue to come and think of it as their own local science cafe where they can come learn what they like,” Maurier said. “We’re open to suggestions from our attendees for future ideas, and we hope to have a long run here in Manchester and to keep the dialogue going about science.”
As seen in the January 9th, 2014 issue of The Hippo