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From the back of the room, looking over the audience toward the Pint of Science panel

Loughborough research community breaks its Pint of Science record

Loughborough University’s research community recorded the third largest Pint of Science event in the UK, with 55 doctoral researchers and staff delivering 21 events, 53 talks and two panel discussions in a variety of public spaces in Loughborough town on 13-15 May.

Three of the Pint of Science presenters

Loughborough’s diverse programme of evening events for the established international science outreach festival was the third largest of all UK universities, hosted across 40 towns and cities.

Audiences were captivated by talks including What if everything in the universe suddenly started shrinking, Can we prevent dementia? and How's my driving? Ask my autonomous vehicle.

Loughborough was one of only seven UK Pint of Science festival locations to host Creative Reactions, a new series of events promoting fusion between science and the arts.

One of the Loughborough events, Bridging the Gap, showcased the collaboration behind two very different examples of the University’s research and innovation: Geography researcher Dr Tom Stanton and songwriter and musician Josh Wheatley discussed their collaboration on the film about the citizen science research project, 50 years of Litter on the Isle of Skye.

At the same event, PhD Researcher in Design and Creative Arts Mehernusia Baig discussed her collaboration with Dr Mark Platt, co-founder of Chemistry spinout Figura Analytics, which involves a creative exploration of nanotechnology.

Another highlight of the programme was Green Hydrogen – fuelling the future, a series of presentations and a panel discussion hosted by the University’s thriving hydrogen research and innovation cluster, supported by HyDEX, SUShy CDT, and the Henry Royce Institute. Research students and staff joined forces with industry experts from Intelligent Energy and the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre to discuss the potential and current progress to produce, store, transport and use this zero-emission fuel.

Lisa Barrett Wheatley, Chemical Engineering Doctoral Researcher and Pint of Science coordinator said: “It was so inspiring to see more than 50 researchers across science, social science and creative arts disciplines sign up to share their work with the public! The dedication of our event volunteers was instrumental in allowing speakers and attendees to really engage with one another, discussing cutting-edge research in cosy and informal settings across Loughborough town.”

Two-time coordinator and Geography and Environment Doctoral Researcher David Whitfield added: “I first became a Pint of Science co-ordinator back in 2022, with the vision of making science more accessible and approachable. Two years on, the project has evolved into a hugely valuable platform for researchers to showcase their breakthroughs to new audiences and collaborate with colleagues' campus-wide!  I’m proud of the cross-disciplinary research culture that #Pint24 has inspired and look forward to seeing how it flourishes!”

Chemical Engineering Doctoral Researcher and lead coordinator Esther Mgbemeje concluded: “It is an indescribable feeling seeing one’s vision and dream of taking the Pint of Science festival in Loughborough from 7 events in previous years to 21 become a reality in the most beautiful way to showcase Loughborough’s fascinating research while fostering and promoting outreach opportunities. The Loughborough team delivered a remarkable Pint of Science festival, a feat made possible by the amazing volunteers, researchers, and staff of the University”.

Professor Dan Parsons, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation at Loughborough, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our doctoral students have once again taken the lead in delivering such a diverse and captivating programme of events featuring all career levels of the University’s research community.

“Public engagement and outreach are such important elements of a responsible and authentic research culture and environment. I am really proud of the team’s collective efforts to provide a fascinating insight into the real-world relevance of the research that happens across the University, spanning the breadth of our three institutional strategic themes. Many congratulations to all involved – here’s to Pint of Science 2025, already confirmed for 19-21 May!”