By Sian Worsfold
The most eagerly-awaited science party of the season took place a few days ago in the Science Museum once again, after a gap of more than two decades.
The first was held in the museum in 1992 and, last Tuesday, the ‘Scientists meet the Media’ party returned as a joint venture with the Royal Society and with the support of the Observer newspaper and Guardian Media Group.
The event brings together the great minds of science and science journalism and is a unique meeting of the most influential opinion formers and thinkers, including researchers, museum STEM experts, Nobel laureates, science journalists and editors, best-selling authors and broadcasters.
Speeches to the audience of several hundred were given by Ian Blatchford, SMG Director, Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, and John Mulholland, editor of The Observer.
Ian Blatchford took the opportunity at the party to announce the international physics journalism prize of the Institute of Physics and the STFC to Lisa Grossman of New Scientist, who had flown in from Boston.
To mark the approaching end of his presidency of the Royal Society, the museum’s Inventor in Residence Mark Champkins created a present for Sir Paul.
He designed an engraved beer glass with the help of fellow laureate Sir Tim Hunt and Roger Highfield of the museum to celebrate Sir Paul’s work on Schizosaccharomyces pombe yeast that earned him the Nobel prize in 2001.
The glass was presented to Sir Paul by Dame Mary Archer, Chairmanof the Science Museum Group’s Board of Trustees.
To the delight of the audience, Highfield filled Sir Paul’s glass with champagne rather than millet (S. pombe) beer, an acquired taste.
An empathy experiment was also conducted on partygoers in the museum’s Information Age gallery by Prof Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, who has carried out many experiments at the event over the decades.
You can read the tweets shared at the event here.