Every second Tuesday, Fabriksområdet, the small alley in Freetown Christiania is filled with vivid talks and laughter. It’s Science and Cocktails day. These two words are rarely seen in the same sentence, let alone experienced in the same place. But in 2010, Jácome Armas thought that scientific knowledge shouldn’t be gained only in universities’ auditoriums or through the media. It should rather be presented in places that everyone can have access to; and why not loosen up the strict atmosphere that usually accompanies such lectures? So, he decided to add tasty ice-chilled cocktails to the mix and thus Science and Cocktails was born. Seven years later, Science and Cocktails is still one of Copenhageners favorite events and a great way to spend a Tuesday evening.
Journalists, professors, and researchers take over the small wooden stage in Christiania’s old cinema hall to talk about modern society’s issues; from politics and economics to climate change and the human nervous system’s reaction to love. During lectures, guests can indulge in a glass of wine while sitting back in the cinema’s red threadbare chairs or share the wooden bench tables at the back of the room, right next to the bar where the bartenders are busy polishing their shakers, getting ready for the night’s grand finale. The room’s gentle lighting, the white candles decorating the tables and the slightly smoky atmosphere create a cozy environment that makes it easy to forget that a lecture by world-class researchers is taking place. But for approximately two hours, participants dive head first into a tumbler filled with insightful data, wisdom, and information. More often than not, what starts as a presentation ends up as a conversation between lecturers and the audience.
After the lectures, experienced bartenders welcome the guests to the bar, signaling the beginning of the event’s second act. Lecturers and attendees mingle and share their thoughts on the discussed topic—or which cocktail tastes better—under the sound of live music or DJ sets.
The autumn season starts in October and ends in December while the spring season is from February to July. Being a non-profit organization, Science and Cocktails is run by volunteers and the earned profits of each session are used to secure next year’s events. Since 2015, this peculiar event has been taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, as well, and is soon to be followed by Brussels in 2017.