A pint of beer or a pint of science? Why should we choose between one or the other? Good news – we don’t have to. On a late starry evening in the midst of May, I was fortunate enough to indulge in both.
The annual Pint of Science festival gives scientists, experienced or not, an opportunity to share their excitement about their own work to the public, and to learn about the cutting-edge research of other scientists in a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere – a pub! During this year’s Reaching for the Stars theme held at the Hallamshire House, I was given the chance to talk about my research on how solar physicists use a combination of maths and NASA imagery to unravel the mysteries of the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona; a marriage more accurately known as coronal seismology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_seismology). Just as scientists can understand the Earth’s interior through seismic waves, coronal seismology is a technique used to probe the solar atmosphere using a special type of wave that exists everywhere in the corona; namely a magnetohydrodynamic wave.
My desire to present at Pint of Science was twofold: It gave me a first taste of how to communicate and engage with the general public and, most importantly, it enabled me to overcome my fear of talking in front of an audience. My own inspirations stem from scientists who are not only great researchers, but also great communicators – and I want to join them in their ranks. In light of this invaluable experience at Pint of Science, I now feel closer to the scientist I want to become.
Here’s me presenting at Hallamshire House:
Check back tomorrow for another instalment. Dr Liz Alvey and Saffron Wilson (MBB) describe talking about beer and science at Sentinel Brewery…