Outline of integrating science in the night culture

Outline of integrating science in the night culture

Author: Jacome Armas – Science & Cocktails

Science continues to be generally excluded from the cultural sphere. When do people consider attending a scientific lecture on a Saturday night part of their weekly entertainment options? If you had to choose between a scientific lecture, the newest blockbuster or a music concert, which would you choose? If science is to reach the general public it has to compete with all other events in the cultural domain.

The majority of platforms created with the purpose of mediating the communication of new research findings to the general public via public lectures have been inspired by the model cafe scientifique, whereby a researcher is set to present his/her slides at a random bar. While delocalizing the researcher from its natural academic habitat into the city is the first step to integrate science in the night culture, it is not sufficient, in particular because the structure of the event commonly follows the academic format. Platforms created using such model have a short lifetime and do not attract more than 20-50 attendees per event.

In this short talk, a new outreach model is introduced: Science & Cocktails (S&C). S&C promotes scientific lectures into full-blown cultural events by combining them with music/art performances, cocktail craftsmanship, media art, virtual hosts and burlesque elements. Run in a completely volunteer and non-profit manner, S&C has had a continuous program for 8 years in Copenhagen. Contrary to TED talks, S&C gives sufficient time for researchers to convey their message without compromising the scientific content. It has been able to attract many renowned scientists, regularly reaching out to 600 attendees per event, sometimes more than a thousand. Partly based on Facebook statistics, it will be shown that the majority of the public being reached by these events in Copenhagen, Johannesburg and Brussels is working-class people between 20–40 years old.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Applying science communication research to practice