Go to a pub, grab a drink, and join a discussion about science.
These events are held in a casual setting (such as a pub), where an audience is broken up into groups, at different tables. At each table, there is an expert, perhaps a professor or a researcher, who has a certain perception or an opinion that relates to the main topic of the evening.
At the beginning of the evening, the moderator will introduce each professor and their contentious question/opinion, and the audience can choose which table they want to sit at first. The participants can now ask questions and discuss their points of view with the expert.
During this, they can drink and act just like regular people having a normal evening in a pub. If the discussion escalates or nobody knows what to say anymore, there is a facilitator present to manage the situation at each table. After 20 minutes, the moderator will sound a bell to signal that the participants need to move to the next table. This rotation will occur clockwise, and the experts do not move from their table, only the audience members.
After four rounds, the moderator will conclude the evening. But everyone is welcome to stay at the pub until the last orders.
- Adult citizens
- Children 7-12
You can do it with all those groups, but we did it with professionals from different fields like public engagement or the cultural and creative sector.
At events such as this, the atmosphere is mellow and not as formal as at a presentation or a lecture. All participants and experts are at eye level with one another, and participants are more likely to discuss their opinions freely within a small group and outside of a formal setting. It is seen more as a fun evening, where you can chat with different people, with various points of view on the subject at hand.
- Find a pub that is big enough, it might also be necessary to book the venue space in advance if you need additional facilities, such as microphones. However, this is not necessary.
- Define the main topic – find 3-4 professors or experts with different points of view on the topic
- Agree on a moderator for the night – agree on a sound signal for when the audience members need to switch tables.
- Prepare the tables and drinks for the experts
- Promote and market your pub talk event.