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Join us for an evening of fighting fake news! Divides between public opinion and the scientific consensus on topics such as vaccine safety, evolution or climate change have existed for a long time. More recently, with the rise of social media it's easier than ever to spread scientific misconceptions. Pint of Science is all about honest, open discussions about research that goes on in your local area. We bring you an evening of myth busting from misconceptions of ADHD to the truth behind e-cigarettes and everything inbetween - come along and help us sort the science fact from science fiction!
Play attention! A computer game to help with ADHD.
Elizabeth Liddle (Associate Professor in Translational Mental Health)
ADHD can make it physically difficult to keep your eyes on the job! Medication can help, but for lasting change, the brain needs to rewire itself. Practicing any skill makes new brain connections. We have designed a computer game called RECOGNeyes for practicing paying attention. A small eyetracker lets you use your own eyes to control the game. As you progress, the game demands increasing control over where you are looking. We have seen some promising results from RECOGNeyes training, including improvements in attention, more efficient reading, and stronger attention networks in the brain.
Unicorns are real and E-cigarettes cause popcorn lung!
Emily Johnston (Ph.D. Researcher - Smoking in Pregnancy Team)
E-cigarettes grab our attention via catchy yet fearmongering headlines. Science can be distorted and sensationalised to sell papers or meet agendas, but this has a knock-on impact for public health. Cigarettes kill over 77,900 and hospitalise around 444,700 people in the UK every year. E-cigarettes are shown to be more than 95% safer than cigarettes - we have the potential to reduce harm in UK adults and children, yet with media-induced fear and hysteria we could see smokers more fearful of a less harmful way of satisfying their nicotine cravings.
No Such Thing as a (Chemical-) Free Lunch
Dr. Jamie Cameron (Research Associate)
Chemicals are everywhere. You had them for breakfast, you rode them to work and you’re swimming in an invisible sea of them at this very moment. Despite this, an increasing number of us are conditioned to harbour a growing distrust of ‘chemicals’, especially those which can be described as ‘synthetic’. Many products freely tout the benefits of being ‘chemical-free’ or ‘natural’ but what does this really mean? Join me as I explode some common myths about chemicals, chemistry and why there often isn’t as much difference between the ‘good’ chemicals and the ‘bad’ ones as you might think.