• Eline van Bloois

#Pint22 shining brightly in Nijmegen

Brightness can be defined as the amount of light we perceive when we see an object. The more light is reflected back to our eyes, the brighter an object becomes. A similar definition can be used to define someone, but now using light as a metaphor for intelligence. In that sense, the concept of brightness is an intersection between physics, visual perception and cognition, three elements that are present in the program of Nijmegen’s 2022 edition of Pint of Science, which is sponsored by the Donders Institute and the Radboud Young Academy.

Previous editions have seen Pint of Science Nijmegen increase in events and numbers of volunteers. Unfortunately, the lockdown forced us to interrupt our enthusiasm for science (and beers), but not for too long! After almost two years of lockdown and online talks, this year’s event will go back to being live, taking place at the Selbachs (Nijmegen city center) on the 10th and 11th of May. Themed “Different shades of Brightness”, we will have a mix of neuroscientists and physicists talking about their recent work, to tickle your curiosity for bright new ideas!

On the first evening, Prof. Harold Bekkering from Donders Institute will talk about how brightness, as a personal trait, can be a product of the environment we live in. He will be followed by Dr. Alexander Lemmens, from the FELIX-HMFL lab who will talk about his research on using infra-red lasers to study stellar evolution.

On the second evening, we will also have researchers from Donders and FELIX-HMFL lab: the PhD candidates Michelle Appel and Sanne Kristensen, and Prof. Rogier Kievit. Among the talks, Michele’s talk will cover her research on how visual implants and AI can help recover vision and will include a small interactive demonstration. The night ends with Sanne’s talk, who will tell us about high-magnetic fields, and how they can help us to uncover the properties of materials under extreme conditions, discovering new phases and quantum effects that can be used in the next material age.

Even though for some of the talks we can see a direct impact on our lives (like recovering vision with AI), it’s interesting to notice that others are quite distant from daily life applications (like the research on stellar evolution). This type of research is mostly driven by the curiosity about how things work, known as basic science, and are important for the future advances of knowledge (you will never know what they could be used for in the future).

Are you interested in knowing more about those different shades of brightness? Excited to hear more and talk about science, while having a cold beer? Make sure to register for one (or why not both!) of our evenings. Tickets are free, but we have a limited number of spots!

Hope to see you there!

Warm regards,

Pint of Science team Nijmegen