Open Mic Night

April 18, 2013

I just had a brilliant idea. Which means that probably someone else has had it before.

Have you ever heard of someone going to an open-mic night at the coffeeshop and laying down a science presentation?

I am disturbingly captivated by the idea of whipping out laptop, projector and talking about some of our recent science at my local java joint…….

21 Responses to “Open Mic Night”

  1. AcademicLurker Says:

    Although I gather what you have in mind is taking a bunch of poets by surprise.


  2. drugmonkey Says:

    yeah! it’d be way more fun if the audience wasn’t expecting it.


  3. drugmonkey Says:

    …and you know my first one would be a Journal Club for “Pot is totally addictive”. hahhahhaha.


  4. dr24hours Says:

    I will totally fly to wherever you do science for that.


  5. dr24hours Says:

    Or you know, walk, if you’re close to ECC.


  6. neuroecology Says:

    Please, please, please do this.

    Maybe what we need, though, is a nationwide program of open-mic-takeovers: it’d be like drive-by science, people wouldn’t know what hit them.

    Concerning your original comment, though we had something like that when I was living in the UK. “Scientific Cafes” though all I can find right now is this:


  7. Dave Says:

    Like “pop-up science Fridays”?


  8. Anonymous Says:

    In the Washington area there is a monthly gathering called Nerd Nite. It is not science specific, but PhD candidates and post-docs give an entertaining 20-30 minute presentation of their work at a bar with a local band playing in between speakers.


  9. Anonymous Says:

    Also, DC Science Cafes


  10. Former technician Says:

    I have done this at a family reunion. One of my skill sets is the ability to translate science to lay speak without talking down to the audience. I have grabbed my laptop and pulled out a slide presentation to add images to my explanations.


  11. Beaker Says:

    The ASCB CellSlam, which started around 2007, is similar to your idea.


  12. kevin. Says:

    I kind of wish that scientists who give their regular Departmental seminar would treat it more like a performance. A friend saw Rod Mackinnon give an amazing talk at a Gordon Conference, and the only thing it would have made it better was if he end it with “that’s all bitches…” and slammed the mike down on the ground. The End. Moar please.


  13. Grumble Says:

    John Lisman gave an excellent 1 hour lecture on addiction at the latest Winter Brain, which was open to the public (whatever that means in the middle of East Bumfuk, CO). It began with some hilarious quotes from a book, I’m not sure which one, but a guy goes to Bangkok and as soon as he gets into a taxi the driver offers him every vice known to man, which Lisman goes on to describe as different forms of addiction. It was extremely entertaining and almost (but not quite) scientifically accurate. I could totally see a scientist blessed with a talent for performance like his give an open mike lecture – why not? Do it, DM!


  14. TwoYellowsMakeRed Says:

    I could see this leading to a brawl between the poets and the scientists.


  15. DrugMonkey Says:

    Have you ever seen Ramachandran in action? That dude drops a dope spoken word or two, let me tell you. Bring it poets!


  16. profguy Says:

    This is not open mic, but a regularly planned set of pop science presentations in a nightclub in Brooklyn. They sell drinks. It’s amazingly successful – I did it once as a speaker and the enthusiasm and interest from the crowd (of ~300+ people) was like nothing I have ever experienced in a professional setting.


  17. kant Says:

    Worth trying it!


  18. Cleyde Says:

    It’s a brilliant idea, and it happens every Thursday at Waterworks bar in Tallahassee! It really works and it’s awesome!!!!


  19. Ola Says:

    If your goal here is to promote your science in the hopes of everyone rushing home and urging their congress persons to push for more NIH dollars. Stop. Take a look at how “well funded” poetry and the arts in general are in this country. We need to be doing the exact opposite of what the artists are doing, because they’re failing miserably in this economy.


  20. DrugMonkey Says:

    No, in this case it’s just because I like talking about drug abuse science to nonscientists.


  21. Laura Says:

    The Atlanta Science Tavern is one more example of this kind of event and it’s very successful:


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