What is Pint of Science?
Pint of Science is an annual festival of scientific research mostly held in relaxed environments like bars and cafes.
Over three days each May, events take place all over the world. In Manchester a range of venues across the city host presentations from three academic researchers.
Academics share their research with members of the public and invite questions about their work. There is also a fun sciencey quiz with the chance to win a Pint of Science t-shirt or pint glass!
What did I learn?
At Monday’s session held at Didsbury Sports Ground in Manchester, there were three speakers whose research was showcased under the title: Breaking the stigma: discussing the taboos of society
Professor Jonathan Green – How can we help with autistic spectrum disorders?
Jonathan is, among other long titles, Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in the University of Manchester. He spoke about an area of his work called ‘Pre-school autism communication therapy’ (PACT)
This intervention worked directly with the parents of very young autistic children. The parents were given therapeutic advice on how they could more fruitfully interact with their children.
This research showed a long term benefit for the children, long after the therapeutic work had finished, with a positive impact seen ten years on.
Dr Pauline Turnbull – Beyond suicide prevention: research that saves lives
Suicide awareness has improved hugely in the past few years, but any life lost is one too many. Suicide places a huge burden on individuals and society with 6,000 people taking their lives in the UK every year.
Pauline spoke about the work she and the team at the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (NCISH) at the University of Manchester.
Large scale research projects have allowed the team to identify ten key areas in which suicide prevention measure could be improved in hospitals and the community. See the diagram below.
Dr Dawn Edge – The Schizophrenia ‘epidemic’ among people of African and Caribbean descent
Dawn Edge is academic lead for Equality Diversity & Inclusion at Manchester University and senior lecturer in their Division of Psychology & Mental Health in the School of Health Sciences.
Dawn spoke about her research looking a the prevalence of schizophrenia among people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK and how treatments could be made more relevant to this particular group.
She introduced a research project called Culturally-Adapted Family Intervention Study (CaFI). This work led to the development of a family intervention for African and Caribbean people diagnosed with psychosis and their families.
Importantly, service users who access mental health support were placed at the heart of the research process.
I had heard Dawn and CaFI research participants talks about this work at the ‘Ladder of Co-production’ at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust (during Mental Health Awareness Week) and could see the pride the participants took from their involvement in the project.
Hear more from the research team and ‘experts by experience’ in this film.