Café Scientifique a roaring success!

05 February 2015

SRMRC Microbiology Theme Lead Dr Beryl Oppenheim kick-started a new series of the Café Scientifique events at the Jekyll & Hyde Gin Bar and Restaurant in Birmingham city centre this Tuesday 3rd February.

The discussions, which take place on the first Tuesday of every month, provide an opportunity for researchers to engage the public with their work through speech and activities, and for attendees to find out more about the subject, with plenty of opportunity to ask what the organisers jokingly call ‘silly questions’. The sessions are lively and interactive, with only one rule: no PowerPoint presentations!

Supported by two of her Microbiology team members, Fenella Halstead and Marc Niebel, Beryl gave an extremely interesting and engaging talk about hospital bugs. She gave an insightful background to the SRMRC, followed by an explanation of her work and a demonstration of the team’s latest technological advancement, which allows for the easier detection of bugs using whole genome sequencing.

The audience, who filled all 30 available seats plus additional floor space, tables, and the corridor outside the room, were certainly surprised about some of the facts. For example, that bugs are most commonly found not on visitors but in fact come from other sources such as taps. In their research the team have been able to identify the precise place in the hospital where a bug originates, including most recently Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas.

For some of the audience, it was the first time they had attended such an event, and the feedback for the team was extremely positive. One guest said, “it was the first time I had been to one of these discussions and how lovely to be immersed in the subject especially with such an informative expert.” Overall, it seems the evening was a roaring success – congratulations to Beryl and her team!

Dr Oppenhiem’s talk will be followed up by her fellow Microbiology Theme Lead Professor Robin May, who will take part in Café Scientifique on Tuesday 5th May at 6:30pm (arrive early to avoid disappointment), and other team members’ slots are currently being confirmed. Go to our events page to find out more.

Please click here to find out more about Café Scientifique.