Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Rosalind Franklin. As Science enthusiasts trickled in for Frontiers’ first ever Pub Science Meetup on 14 June, we wrote down our name and favorite scientist. Mine is Alfred Wegener, the guy who looked at a map of the earth and thought to himself, Africa and South America look suspiciously like they might have been joined at one point. And thus was born the theory of continental drift.
Sadly, no one asked me about the second name on my name-tag, but I had plenty of occasion to learn of other attendees’ heroes. Two ‘science enthusiasts’, as group members are called, explained why they chose Richard Feynman, the theoretical physicist best known for his work on the atomic bomb during World War II. Others who chose Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin exchanged joint passions for psychotherapy and evolution over a pint of beer and wine, respectively.
Perhaps my most interesting discovery of the night, however, was a simple metaphor to explain the translation of DNA into proteins (something I only vaguely remember from high school biology). A zealous autodidact from Dubai who was only in London on holiday attended the event to meet locals and spread his love of science and communication. He explained to me the affinity the A’s have for the T’s, the C’s for the G’s, and how the translated message goes on to code for all the different types of proteins in our bodies from our hair to fingernails. My inner geek was dancing all over the place with joy.
“So what made you organize this Meetup?”
I told members how I work for an open access publisher, Frontiers, and how we wanted to bring together people to talk about science, get ideas, drink a beer. It was unanimously agreed that there just aren’t enough science based events and that there should be more. And so there will be!
Our next event will feature three researchers keen to share their science during 10 minute informal talks followed by group discussions. Go here to join in the fun!