Science in the Pub ™ (Sci Pub) has had a remarkable run of success since its inception in February 1998 when it was supported by a grant of $3000 from the Science and Technology Awareness Program (STAP, Department of Industry Science and Technology). A further STAP grant of $6000 for National Science Week 1999 launched Science in Your Pub, an initiative to stage Sci Pub sessions around Australia. This year Sci Pub attracted the maximum STAP grant of $15,000 for Science in the Pub goes Outback, a National Science Week 2000 initiative. Science in the Pub is a program of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Science Communicators.

The aim of Science in the Pub is to bring scientific pursuits into the very heart of popular culture by having scientists meet members of the wider community in the informal setting of the pub: an icon of Australian culture.

'Outback' is the term used to describe the sparsely populated, usually arid, remote areas of Australia. The towns are renowned for their 'outback pubs' and people in these parts rarely get to meet and greet 'real' scientists. What better incentives could there have been for taking Science in the Pub outback?

The first step was to persuade a group of busy researchers to leave their science for a week to 'go outback'. The lure turned out to be a vintage DC3. The notion of flying at low altitudes over some of Australia's most beautiful panoramas was just the right enticement. The group of 17 scientists and science communicators dropped everything to visit five outback towns, covering some 4000km over the seven days.

And it wasn't all beer and skittles! Presenting six different events during a minimum of 24 hours to a maximum of 48 hours was no mean feat. Although Science in the Pub featured in each centre, we also offered Science in the Bush, Starry Starry Night, Science meets the Arts, School of the Air broadcasts and school visits. There was something for everyone: school children, family groups, patrons of the arts, and of course, the pub society.

The comparison between the audience demographics of the regular Sydney sessions of Science in the Pub with those of the outback shows that the Sydney audiences mostly have at least basic qualifications in science, whereas many in the outback audiences could not remember having ever studied science. 





 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science in the Pub goes outback

Robyn Stutchbury  

Science in the Pub ™ (Sci Pub) has had a remarkable run of success since its inception in February 1998 when it was supported by a grant of $3000 from the Science and Technology Awareness Program (STAP, Department of Industry Science and Technology). A further STAP grant of $6000 for National Science Week 1999 launched Science in Your Pub, an initiative to stage Sci Pub sessions around Australia. This year Sci Pub attracted the maximum STAP grant of $15,000 for Science in the Pub goes Outback, a National Science Week 2000 initiative. Science in the Pub is a program of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Science Communicators.

The aim of Science in the Pub is to bring scientific pursuits into the very heart of popular culture by having scientists meet members of the wider community in the informal setting of the pub: an icon of Australian culture.

'Outback' is the term used to describe the sparsely populated, usually arid, remote areas of Australia. The towns are renowned for their 'outback pubs' and people in these parts rarely get to meet and greet 'real' scientists. What better incentives could there have been for taking Science in the Pub outback?

The first step was to persuade a group of busy researchers to leave their science for a week to 'go outback'. The lure turned out to be a vintage DC3. The notion of flying at low altitudes over some of Australia's most beautiful panoramas was just the right enticement. The group of 17 scientists and science communicators dropped everything to visit five outback towns, covering some 4000km over the seven days.

And it wasn't all beer and skittles! Presenting six different events during a minimum of 24 hours to a maximum of 48 hours was no mean feat. Although Science in the Pub featured in each centre, we also offered Science in the Bush, Starry Starry Night, Science meets the Arts, School of the Air broadcasts and school visits. There was something for everyone: school children, family groups, patrons of the arts, and of course, the pub society.

The comparison between the audience demographics of the regular Sydney sessions of Science in the Pub with those of the outback shows that the Sydney audiences mostly have at least basic qualifications in science, whereas many in the outback audiences could not remember having ever studied science. 





 

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