When many think of science, hushed laboratories where scientists peer into microscopes or chart complex equations come to mind.
But a new collaboration between Oregon State University, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Downtown Corvallis Association aims to present fascinating findings from leading researchers in an unexpected forum: the local pub.
“Science Pub Corvallis” premieres on Monday, March 9, with, appropriately enough, “Beer: A Tasty Blend of Art, History and Science,” a presentation by Jeff Clawson of the highly regarded Fermentation Sciences program at OSU.
In addition to his involvement with research and instruction in that program, Clawson manages the campus Pilot Brewery, part of OSU’s nationally ranked College of Agricultural Sciences.
Clawson will discuss the history of beer making around the world and how the art and science of perfecting a brew have culminated in an Oregon microbrew industry that leads the United States.
The OSU Fermentation Science program has played a key role in that industry, helping to develop many of Oregon’s most popular small-label brands.
OSU is one of only two universities in the United States to offer a Fermentation degree program and is home to an internationally recognized hops research initiative supported by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
The event begins at 6 p.m. at Old World Deli & Café, 341 S.W. Second St. Subsequent Corvallis Science Pub presentations will be served up on the second Monday of each month, same time and location. While Science Pub Corvallis is free and open to the public, organizers encourage early arrivals, so that patrons can place food and drink orders and settle in before the talks begin.
This is the third Science Pub that OMSI has helped launch in Oregon. Science Pub Portland was the first, and regularly draws hundreds of patrons to the Mission Theater and Pub in northwest Portland. Science Pub Eugene is newer, but still commands a faithful audience at Cozmic Pizza.
Science pubs are part of a global, grassroots “science café” movement that began in the United Kingdom with a goal of creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for people with no science background to learn.
About 75 science cafés now meet regularly around the United States, and hundreds convene consistently around the world.
The second Science Pub Corvallis presentation is set for Monday, April 13, with OSU Health and Human Sciences researchers Emily Ho, who is also a principal investigator at the OSU Linus Pauling Institute, and Kathy Gunter focusing on healthy eating choices and physical activity that give individuals a better shot at long, healthy lives.
~ Todd Simmons