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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Beautiful Mind - Pint of Science

Published: 22 May 2015
Pint of Science

Southampton Neuroscience group (SoNG) brought science to the pub this May as part of the Pint of Science Festival. The Pint of Science Festival ran in over 50 cities in 9 countries, covering topics in Oceanography, Neuroscience, Human Physiology and Physics.

Photographs taken by:  Andrew Causon
Pint of Science

Members of the SoNG group based each night around a different theme. The first night covered brain development, learning and memory, the second night focused on alcohol addiction and the third night brain ageing and dementia.

The subjects proved very popular with each night selling out, 'alcohol addiction' seeing the highest rate of ticket sales. Each night two speakers from the University of Southampton presented their thoughts and research questions to the public. Interactive presentations using zappers made for fantastic audience participation and a quiz during the interval proved particularly popular.

Prof Vincent O'Connor
Sell - out event

On night two Professor Lindy Holden-Dye used yellow and red balloons to represent inhibitory and excitatory neurons, passing these out into the audience, with some people also receiving pins to pop balloons (illustrating alcohol withdrawal). Lindy explained how the balance of excitation and inhibition changes during alcohol consumption and withdrawal, how this can change human behavior and why some people are driven to drink again. Night three saw Professor Vincent O’Connor cook an egg on stage to demonstrate protein miss-folding which leads to the hallmark deposits seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s Disease. In his talk he highlighted the requirement for research to focus on early parts of the degenerative process, while synapses are being remodeled and removed before whole neuronal cell death.

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More photos from the events

This was the first year that the Pint of Science Festival has been run in Southampton, and it was a great success. The SoNG members who spoke on each night injected such enthusiasm for their research and science that feedback from the event demonstrated its power and validity and should be continued each year. The Beautiful Mind team, comprising of Grace Hallinan, Prutha Patel, Megan Sealey, Matt Cotton and Joanne Bailey, would like to thank the speakers from each night, Katrin Deinhardt, Mariana Vargas- Caballero, Lindy Holden-Dye, Julia Sinclair, Vincent O’ Connor and Lesley Collier, for making this such a memorable and exciting event. Special thanks should also be given to the sponsors Institute for Life Science(IFLS), Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences (FNES), Mendeley and Promega.

Publicity was organised by Katy Stubbs.

Article by Joanne Bailey

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