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PubSci Lives!

Hello PubSci community.

Profuse apologies for months of radio silence. It’s been a difficult year for a number of reasons, and with the added uncertainty of live or not-live events as we recovered from the pandemic, PubSci has had to take a back seat for a while. But we didn’t forget you – and I hope you didn’t forget us.

Even as I write, we are planning to restart events within a very few months. We’ll probably be in a new venue (TBC) for live events, but for those who still want to join us online, we are planning to run most talks as hybrid events from now on, live-streamed from a pub, with recordings available on our YouTube channel afterwards.

It’ll take a bit of technical jiggery-pokery and some logistical wizardry but I tested my tech kit on a small event recently and the picture and sound were great.

Please keep watching this space for further announcements. In the meantime feel free to join us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube where you can watch past online talks.

May the Facts be with you!


Announcement: July PubSci Postponed

We’d planned to welcome Dr Anna Morgan for an online PubSci on July 7th, however it has been necessary to postpone this event to a later date.

We apologise to those who were looking forward to Anna’s talk. It will be rescheduled at a later date – hopefully to take place in an actual pub, with a livestream for those who can’t attend in person.

On the plus side, those of you who were torn between science and football can now watch the England-Denmark match with a clear conscience!

Please watch this space for further announcements.


No PubSci in June – Next event 7th July

In case you missed the announcements at May’s PubSci, there will be no PubSci in June 2021. This is because we are switching back to our traditional date, the first Wednesday of the month.

We’re not back in a physical pub yet – that won’t happen until all covid restrictions are lifted – but with pubs reopening, the summer arriving (sort of), and even the possibility of a gradual return to the office, I realised some people have better things to do on a Friday night than stay in and watch Zoom!

So, we’re skipping June, to allow the transition from the last Friday to the first Wednesday. Hopefully it won’t be long until that means we can actually meet on the first Wednesday in a pub. I still hope to offer an online presence for PubSci talks, but the logistics of live-streaming a real world event will prove quite a challenge. Watch this space.

For now, please put Wednesday 7th July in your diary, when Dr Anna Morgan from Kingston University will talk about Toxins: Friends or Foes…?

See you in July,


Reminder: Book now for PubSci on Friday 30th April with Dr Brock Craft

Apologies for the extra email, but we’re aware that the previous PubSci email went out before tickets were available on eventbrite. Mea culpa!

So here’s a gentle reminder that tickets are available to book right now for the next PubSci online, Friday 30th April at 7pm BST.

Forget about going to the actual pub – it will be cold and damp outside! Come to the virtual pub for some real science – like the vital lesson that NASA should have learnt from Florence Nightingale.

Follow the link for a fascinating look at the beautiful, terrible, powerful role of data visualisation in the modern world with Dr Brock Craft – it could literally save your life!

PubSci Online | Dr Brock Craft: Picture This – Why Data Visualisation Matters

On 28th Jan 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center. Could better data visualisation have prevented this disaster? (AP Photo/Bruce Weaver, File)

Announcing the Return of PubSCi

Apologies for the radio silence – it’s been a peculiar year – but PubSci is back!

Following the same format as our Virtual PubSci in June 2020, we are pleased to announced the return of PubSci as a regular, live, online event (until we can meet again in a real pub).

Friday is the new Wednesday

As we now have a PubSci in New Zealand (run by former London PubSci-er, Hannah), we have scheduled our first few online events for Friday evenings so our friends in the antipodes can join us on a Saturday morning. This might vary in the future, depending on speaker availability. Events will be hosted live on Zoom and streamed on the PubSci YouTube channel, where they will remain for at least 28 days.

We are delighted to begin our new season on Friday 26th February with our good friend Paolo Viscardi, co-founder of PubSci and Curator of Zoology at the National Museum of Ireland, on Dismantling the Dead Zoo.

We continue the zoological theme on Friday 26th March with PubSci favourite Dr Erica McAlister, Senior Keeper of Diptera (flies) at London’s Natural History Museum and author of nonfiction bestsellers, The Secret Life of Flies and The Inside Out of Flies.

Scheduled start time is 7pm. You’ll need to register in advance to watch the Zoom events (to prevent Zoom-bombing) but anybody can watch the YouTube streams. Full event details will be published shortly on all the usual channels, where you will also find instructions on how to attend.

Thank you for your patience. It’s good to be back.

Richard and all at PubSci

How to Join Virtual PubSci Tomorrow (With or without Zoom)

Logo Cropped

Our very first Virtual PubSci goes live at 7:30 pm on Weds 3rd June
and we’re delighted to welcome Dr Caspar Addyman, director of the InfantLab at Goldsmiths, University of London with the talk that was originally scheduled for 1 April: Life Lessons from Laughing Babies.

The Zoom meeting will be active from around 7pm so you’ll have plenty of time to make sure you’re up and running before the talk begins. Those who have registered on Eventbrite will be sent an email with the Zoom link details before 5:30pm. It’s a pain to have to do it like this, but since Zoombombing became a problem for online events – and friends have had their events horribly interrupted – we need to make sure that everybody who joins the Zoom meeting is bona fide. Hope you understand.

However, not everybody wants to use Zoom, even in a browser window, so we will also be streaming the event live on YouTube. I’ve set up a PubSci YouTube channel where anybody can view the event without having to register on Eventbrite or use Zoom.

Just go to our YouTube Channel from 7pm on Wednesday and look for the livestream under VIDEOS > LIVE STREAMS. AT the moment there is just a test stream which you can watch to make sure your speaker settings are correct. It also has some notes that might be useful. When the stream goes live (around 7:15pm) it should appear on the list but you might need to refresh the page to see it. We will have chat active on YouTube (though moderated) so you can submit questions in the break.

All times are BST (GMT+1)

Finally, in case you want to make a small donation towards our web and Zoom hosting costs or contribute towards PubSci’s support of the wonderful Metafact science fact-checking project, we now have a PayPal “Money Pool” where you can do that, administered by PubSci host Richard Marshall.

Hope to see you tomorrow.


PubSci is postponed until further notice

Dear friends, apologies for the lack of earlier communication. It will, however, come as no surprise that all PubSci events are suspended for the time being.

Of course the implications of the current pandemic are more serious and far-reaching than the mere suspension of our events but we will miss our monthly gatherings in the Old King’s Head.

We hope to reschedule the planned April and May talks for a later date, but we will only restart when scientific, medical and government advice recommend that it is safe and sensible to do so.

As the lockdown and ban on social gatherings continue, we are looking into the possibility of hosting events online and will explore other ways to give you your monthly science fix through the internet.

Please watch out for announcements and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@pubsci) and on the PubSci Facebook page (

In the meantime, all of us in the PubSci family wish you all the very best over the coming months.

Good health.

Richard and the London PubSci team.

Weds 4th December 2019 – PubSci’s End of Year Quiz: “Let Them Eat Cake Too!”


Okay Einsteins (and Lovelaces), it’s time to dust off your brain cells, put down your mobile phones, put on your thinking caps and team up to play the Science In The Pub End of Year Pub Quiz.

It’s in a pub. It’s about science (sort of). And it’s a Quiz… like no other.

6:30 for 7pm, Weds 4th December 2019, upstairs at the Old King’s Head

Ours is a level-playing-field quiz for Pub Scientists and their friends.  There will be no pointless questions on celebrities or sport – but we do have questions that challenge the senses and aren’t in any quiz books.  Sometimes they’re weird, but at least we write them ourselves.

The drinking will be peer reviewed. The cake will be boozy. There will be cash prizes!

Come as a team or come alone and join a team on the night. It’s more about fun than prizes but there are cash prizes and spot prizes too!

Max 6 in a team. £3 per player.

6.30 pm for a 7pm start.

Bonus points may be awarded for Christmas jumpers

Climate science in the Age of Unreason

On Wednesday 2nd October we’re very pleased to welcome Climate Scientist Dr Ben McNeil, from the University of New South Wales, to talk about climate science misinformation and how to tackle it.

Global heating trend 2014-2018 (NASA)

Global temperature anomalies (vs long term trend) 2014-2018. Source: NASA

Science communication frequently fails in the click-bait driven media environment and social media has weaponised mistrust. With a group of medical researchers and journalists, Ben set out to tackle the spread of online misinformation by founding in 2018. In this month’s talk, Ben discusses these important issues and explains the evolution of Metafact as a scientific approach to evidence-based information to help individuals and societies in the post-truth era.

Ben McNeil UNSW (crop)

Ben McNeil is an Oceanographer and Climate Scientist in the Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, Sydney, with a Masters in Economics.

As a senior Research Fellow, he seeks to advance scientific understanding of the processes and effects of climate change. He has been a passionate science communicator for over 20 years and is the author of “The Clean Industrial Revolution” which makes the economic and scientific case for a low carbon economy.

In 2013 he founded to support the transformative potential of bold, scientific blue-sky thinking in solving global challenges.

– – –

Join us upstairs at the Old King’s Head, near London Bridge station. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start and as usual the event is free, but we will have a whip-round to cover speaker’s expenses.

Please check our Future Events page where you can also subscribe to our iCal feed.

Simon Kaufman: Hyperloop UK – The Next Transport Revolution?

On Wednesday 4th September we’re delighted to welcome architect and urban designer Simon Kaufman, to talk about the groundbreaking Hyperloop UK transport project.

Public railways have been with us since 1825 and mass-produced motor cars since 1909. Is it time for a new transport revolution?

Hyperloop is a futuristic and green transportation system, championed by Space-X founder Elon Musk, that moves people and freight through frictionless tubes at airliner speeds on demand. In 2016 a UK consortium bid to host the world’s first Hyperloop route, supported by Friends of the Earth and the Department for Transport. Simon, who led the engineering team behind the Hyperloop UK proposal, will present the case for a Hyperloop network in Britain and discuss the challenges and opportunities of pioneering such a cutting edge transport technology here.

Hyperloop UK image

How a Hyperloop tube might look alongside a motorway. (Image ©Hyperloop UK)

Simon Kaufman is a chartered Architect and urban designer, who has worked in public realm design, civic planning and transport orientated development alongside residential and commercial buildings for most of his professional career. Notable projects in London include the renewal of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, Archway Gyratory, Lots Road power station in Chelsea, Paddington Basin, Regent’s Place near Euston amongst many others. His planning work includes involvement in the regeneration of town centres such as Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Coventry, Leeds and Preston; and he has also worked internationally in Russia, the UAE, South Africa and elsewhere.



In 2016, Simon led a multi-disciplinary engineering team to create a proposal for a Hyperloop route in Great Britain, “Hyperloop UK” which received the support of Virgin Trains, Friends of the Earth, the DFT, Catapult TS and other UK authorities and entities.

The proposal was entered into a competition run by Hyperloop One in 2017 to select the first global Hyperloop routes. Out of some 4,000 international entries, Hyperloop UK was chosen as one of twelve finalists.

Join us upstairs at the Old King’s Head, near London Bridge station. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start and as usual the event is free, but we will have a whip-round to cover speaker’s expenses.