I wrote a post a while ago about Science & Cocktails and mentioned how I liked the staging of the whole event. The place (an old military building transformed into a movie theater), the old soft seats, the music, the light, the smoking cocktails are all elements which contribute to make Science & Cocktails (S&C) a differently engaging scientific event.
I met Jácome Armas, the creator of S&C, to find out why he had started this initiative and what he wanted to achieve with it. An inspiring meeting with a generous scientist willing to contribute to knowledge creation and sharing.
Make science and learning a night attraction
Jácome’s main objective with S&C is to contribute to Copenhagen’s nightlife and make science and learning a night attraction.
Jácome is himself a scientist, he is a PhD student conducting research on black holes at the Niels Bohr Institute. But he is also interested in music and art and thinks that the artistic and scientific approaches to reality are inspiring and can inspire each other. This is the reason why the Science & Cocktails sessions are always mixing science with art and strive to appeal to the audience’s creativity.
Scientists as performers
Another objective is to give a stage to scientists where they can tell their own story about their research and meet an attentive audience. Jácome insisted on the fact that scientists participating to S&C are not lecturing but performing. They are supposed to act, i.e. tell a story. The staging is here to make them get into the role of scientists telling about their research to an audience of curious citizens. And the scientists’ feedback is indeed always positive : standing on a stage in a theater is an amazing experience, and so different from any other kind of lecture. Collecting their impressions will be part of my work with this blog. Another good reason to start following it
Giving scientists a communication room besides the usual media is part of the S&C’s initiative. It aims at triggering a direct dialogue between scientists and society.
Promote the scientific way of thinking
Jácome is concerned by the way decisions are taken in many different areas of life. He wishes that we could relate to things in a more scientific way, i.e. not get engaged emotionally but relate more rationally to reality and try to look at it as it is. According to Jácome, we try too much to relate to a world that does not exist and that makes us take the wrong decisions.
Financing research in developing countries
Science & Cocktails is driven by volunteers and admission is always free. The expenses linked to the organization are covered by the cocktails’ sale. This small profit allows the team behind S&C to invite scientists from abroad and cover their travel expenses. They usually get free accommodation in Christiania’s guest house.
Jácome also hopes that S&C’s income will soon be able to support scientific research in India through the financement of a PhD salary.
The third season of Science & Cocktails is starting next thursday with a performance on supereruptions.
And by the way, S&C’s new web site is online and makes it much easier to find! http://www.scienceandcocktails.org/