Evaluation of the Pint of Science festival in Thailand.
Adhikari B., Hlaing PH., Robinson MT., Ruecker A., Tan NH., Jatupornpimol N., Chanviriyavuth R., Cheah PY.
BACKGROUND:The Pint of Science festival is the biggest annual international science festival. In May 2017, we coordinated the first Pint of Science festival in Thailand and reported our initial reflections. Building on this work, we set out to evaluate more systematically events conducted in 2018. METHODS:In 2018, we conducted Pint of Science events at four different locations in Bangkok. Overall, there were 18 talks held over six event-days in 2018. We administered 180 self-reported questionnaires as well as conducted 11 semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion with audience members and speakers. RESULTS:Of the 180 questionnaires handed out, 125 attendees completed the questionnaire. The majority of attendees came because they were interested in science (68.0%), to learn something new (46.4%) and to enjoy themselves (44.8%). Our qualitative results confirm the quantitative findings. In addition, speakers viewed that they benefited by improving their communication skills and having the opportunity to network with scientists and non-scientists. Speakers also mentioned that such events were a good means to engage with the public, can improve the visibility of their work and potentially attract more funding. To improve the Pint of Science activities, audience members suggested to include a more diverse range of topics, more collaborations with other local research institutions and to hold the event at larger venues. CONCLUSIONS:We conclude that Pint of Science was well received in Bangkok with recommendations to improve minor issues related to practicalities and logistics.