UNIVERSITY of Stirling academics have raised a glass to a successful Pint of Science Festival after selling out three nights at a local whisky bar.

Experts swapped the lecture theatre for the pub as they presented their scientific discoveries to patrons of the Curly Coo, in Stirling, as part of the popular global event.

University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gerry McCormac; Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Professor Maggie Cusack; and Dr Christian Schröder – the only UK scientist working on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity mission – were among the speakers.

It is the first time that Stirling has participated in the festival, which launched five years ago in a bid to promote the work of scientists to a wider audience.

Today, Pint of Science holds events in almost 300 cities globally.

Professor McCormac, who delivered a presentation on the world of carbon dating, said: “I am delighted that Stirling’s inaugural Pint of Science event was a great success.

"Over three nights, our academics received a warm reception as they presented their work to a capacity crowd in the convivial surrounds of the Curly Coo.

“I would like to congratulate the organisers on a successful event and thank our members of staff who volunteered their time to take part. Public engagement, such as this, is vitally important to the University in terms of demonstrating the impact of our teaching and research on society.

“Everyone at Stirling is looking forward to next year’s event already.”

Nine presentations took place over three differently themed nights, organised by student volunteers, with staff support, and sponsored by the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

On Monday, May 14, Dr Naomi Brooks (Senior Lecturer in Sport), Dr Lee Hamilton (Lecturer in Sport, Health and Exercise Science) and Dr Paul Dimeo (Senior Lecturer in Sport) discussed the roles of different aspects of our lives on our fitness, looking at how genetics, training and drug taking can alter fitness and ability.

On Tuesday, May 15, Professor Kirsty Park (Professor in Conservation Ecology), Dr Alan Law (PhD research student) and Dr Stuart Auld (Research Fellow) looked at different aspects of ecology; specifically, the reintroduction of beavers, the evolution of sex, and some of our most charismatic native species.

And, on Wednesday, May 16, Professor McCormac, Professor Cusack and Dr Schröder (Senior Lecturer) considered how we can use carbon dating to answer important questions, whether seashells act as thermometers and whether there could be life on Mars.

For more information on the Pint of Science Festival, visit: