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Science in the bar

Those who want to learn something new go to the library – or to “Pint of Science” in the bar

Freiburg, May 15, 2019

Science in the bar

Photo: slavun –

Photo: slavun –

Beer is alive, an electric car could soon be powered by sunlight and immune cells help cells to penetrate the brain and thus cause multiple sclerosis to break out: These scientific topics and many more will be explained at the "Pint of Science" from May 20-22, 2019 in various pubs in Freiburg. The idea behind the "Pint of Science" is to let scientists talk about their research in a relaxed atmosphere - and in such a way that everyone understands it without prior knowledge.

Bérénice Batut and Teresa Müller (left to right): “Beer is Alive!” Photo: Klaus Polkowski

“It is important to communicate research and science in an understandable language so that people comprehend what is being researched and what taxpayers’ money is being spent on,” says Bérénice Batut, postdoc at the Chair of Bioinformatics at the University of Freiburg. Together with her colleague, bioinformatics doctoral student Teresa Müller, she will give a lecture at the “Pint of Science” on the most popular drink of the evening: beer. They came up with the idea for the lecture topic through the “Street Science Community” project, in which they are both involved. Its goal is to bring science to the streets. In their lecture “Beer is alive!”, they explain what DNA sequencing is, what it is used for and how it influences daily life. The idea of presenting science in a pub is good for both of them, says Müller: “We not only want to explain DNA sequencing, but also show how much fun science can be and how interesting it is.”

The lecture “Beer is alive!” will take place in Café Hermann, Wentzingerstraße 15 on May 20. Café Herman opens at 5:30pm and the event goes until 9pm.


Nils Klasen: “Photovoltaics, how we can fill electric cars of the future with light.” Photo: Klaus Polkowski

“Acceptance of science is just as relevant as science itself,” says Nils Klasen. He is a PhD student at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg and came to the Pint of Science through one of his students. Klasen was immediately impressed and curious about the series of lectures. “It sounded exciting: Sitting in a pub and listening to someone pass on knowledge in an easily understandable way.” Klasen also seeks to explain his research in a way that is easy to understand. His lecture is about “Photovoltaics and how we will fill our electric cars with light in the future,” he reveals with a wink and a smile. He wants to explain how solar cells work, which steps are necessary until a solar module on a roof generates energy. He hopes to draw attention to current research and potential for improvement: “My aim is for the audience to understand how a solar module works after the lecture.” He also wants to pass on his enthusiasm for the idea of turning light into electricity.

The lecture “Photovoltaics, how we can fill the electric cars of the future with light” will take place on May 21, 2019 in the Borso Bar, Moltkestraße 30. The bar opens at 5:30pm and the event goes until 9pm.


Marta Joana Costa Jordão: “What changes in the brain during inflammation?”
Photo: Klaus Polkowski

"I believe we lecturers at the Pint of Science are also learning a lot: By reflecting how to present our research in a simple way, we also have to think about it differently," said Marta Joana Costa Jordão, PhD student at the Institute of Neuropathology at the University Medical Center Freiburg. Her lecture deals with the barrier that surrounds the human brain. "This is the fortress wall and the brain is the castle," she explains with a laugh. Within this barrier, there are different cells that prevent foreign cells, for example from the blood, from entering the brain. However, in some diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, immune cells from the barrier may help foreign cells to penetrate, causing the neurons in the brain to be attacked. "In our research, we want to find out exactly which immune cells are present at the barrier  and which of  them help the peripheral cells to go into the brain. On this basis, we want to find a way to stop them." Costa Jordão usually presents her research in a more formal manner, but the Pint of Science will have a completely different atmosphere. "It's much more relaxed, more like talking to friends."

The lecture “What changes in the brain during inflammation?” will take place on May 22, 2019 at Café Hermann, Wentzingerstraße 15. Café Hermann opens at 17:30 and the event goes until 9pm.

Lara Wehler

All information, tickets and the entire program