The cracking of beer cans and lively conversation boomed throughout the Sarah Flaum Atrium on Tuesday as hundreds of postdocs, graduate students, and faculty gathered for Posters and Pints, an evening of informal science communication and beer tasting.
Roughly 14 students presented research posters as hundreds streamed through talking, drinking beer, and eating the free food.
“The food is delicious, the drinks are delicious, and science is fun,” graduate student Jason Nagourney said after walking into the atrium without knowing the event was happening.
One experienced presenter noted that Posters and Pints was the most successful presentation session they had ever had.
“I was at a huge international conference in Vancouver at the end of August, and I’ve had more interaction here than I had at that conference, probably five times as much interaction. This is awesome,” postdoctoral student Christina Post told the CT. “This is definitely the best poster session I have ever had.”
Presenters and attendees were very happy to get the opportunity to talk to peers across the University. And, of course, they were also happy to taste many different types of beer.
“I do like having the beer option,” postdoctoral student Samantha Romanik said, referencing the way many European conferences are structured to have an informal atmosphere. “It makes it feel more informal and more like you are talking to collaborators and colleagues rather than kinda being tested on your poster in a way.”
For many, Posters and Pints was a stepping stone to prepare for future conferences and presentations of research projects.
“I’m giving a talk at NERM, the American Chemical Society Northeast Regional Meeting, in about two weeks, so I figured this would be a good event to get me out of the lab,” PhD student Jordan Butt told the CT.
This year’s event, which was the second Posters and Pints ever held, was a result of collaboration between the UR Postdoctoral Association, the Thinkers and Drinkers Communications Club, and MyHub. Thinkers and Drinkers spearheaded the first iteration in 2019.
“We all talked about what we liked and disliked about poster sessions and tried to make something that we would want in a poster session, and that would be free alcohol and informal conversations about science,” Ian Krout, co-chair of Thinkers and Drinkers, told the CT.
The COVID-19 pandemic put the second iteration of the event on hold until this year, as organizers wanted to ensure it would be able to go forward.
“I think it’s an enticing event to be a part of,” said Erin Davis, co-chair of the Postdoctoral Association. “It’s more informal and social, there’s no judging involved. We are just here to have a good time and help people with their communication of their own research.”