Scientific circle's dry talk earns it a bar ban

December 15, 2006

Ever since the time of Aristotle, wine has played a supporting role in many academic discoveries. But one Brighton venue felt that scientists were not doing enough to uphold a noble tradition, writes Chloe Stothart.

Café Scientifique, a science and technology forum organised by two scientists at Sussex University, have been told they must find a new venue because their members preferred tap water to booze.

The manager of Terraces Bar and Grill in Brighton, where they used to meet, said the group did not spend enough money. Sean Donnelly told The Argus newspaper in Brighton: "A few of them would have a drink, but the rest of them would drink water. It cost me £50 or £60 to have a barman there for four hours doing nothing."

The group was set up so that anyone with an interest in science could come to a talk and then debate the issues over a drink. There are other Cafés Scientifique around the UK, including Newcastle, Oxford and Nottingham.

Jim Grozier, a PhD student in physics at Sussex, said: "I spend about £30 [at each meeting] as we buy our speakers a meal and pay for their drinks."

The Brighton group has found a temporary venue at a pub, but it would like to find others places in the town that would accommodate them free of charge.

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