Join UIC researchers in a Pint of Science at local tavern

pintofsciencevChat with some of Chicago’s leading researchers over a beer at the Pint of Science festival next week.

Professors from UIC, Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern and University of Chicago will discuss their latest research from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Bar Louie, 355 N. Dearborn St.

The free event, hosted by Chicago-based iBIO, will showcase urban planning expert Moira Zellner on Monday and physicist David Hofman Tuesday.

“The idea of talking about science while drinking sounds pretty cool, I have to admit,” said Hofman, professor and head of physics.

The official title of Hofman’s presentation is “State of the Universe, Less Than a Second after the Big Bang.” He will discuss his research with quark-gluon plasma, a substance that resembles the universe’s condition in its early stage of development.

“The plasma is made of the protons and neutrons that make up the elements we’re made of — carbon, oxygen, nitrogen,” he said.

The topic for Zellner, associate professor of urban planning and policy, is “Improving the Environment Doesn’t Take That Much …”

“I’m excited to share with people a different way of looking at the world, and that might give us hope about how to change it with small coordinated actions,” she said. “I’ll be showing one way in which we can figure out what actions we could take to change the world, and why they make sense.”

Hofman said he looks forward to hearing Peggy Mason, a U of C researcher who will discuss “What Rats Can Teach Us About Empathy,” and Urbana-Champaign agricultural sciences professor Stephen Moose, whose topic is “Party Genes-How Genetic Modifications Make the Drink.”

“Both of these are people I don’t know, but their research sounds interesting,” said Hofman.

“And of course, I’m really looking forward to meeting anybody who comes and wants to talk about science.”

The Pint of Science festival started in Europe in 2012. This is the first year it will be held in the U.S.

“I think it makes science more accessible,” said John Conrad, iBIO vice president of operations. “It’s a little less scary.”

The three nights of science conversations will include interactive games and quizzes and a performance by X-Rated Crystallography, a band made up of U of C students.

“Our mission to make the state and the Midwest one of the top life-sciences centers,” Conrad said of iBio.

At the bar, Zellner said she’ll stick to water or cranberry juice. Hofman said he’ll probably order a beer or some Kentucky bourbon, depending upon how jet-lagged he is after arriving home Monday from Geneva, Switzerland.

Pint of Science festivals will also be held in Philadelphia, Tampa, New York City and San Diego. Tickets are available online.

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