Academia is sometimes unfairly stereotyped as a place where information is hoarded behind its ivy covered walls and presented only to those who are lucky enough to see what’s behind them. Of course, this reputation is false, a fact that you can see for yourself every month here in BCS. “Astronomy is even better with beer” is the mantra of Astronomy on Tap, a monthly event that takes place at the Grand Stafford Theater in downtown Bryan. This slogan emphasizes what this event is all about; according to their website, these free, all ages meetings feature “accessible, engaging public talks on topics ranging from planets to galaxies to the very beginnings of the universe.”
Professional astronomers, many of them Texas A&M professors and students, come together to share their research, their knowledge, and a drink or two with not only each other, but with anyone else willing to show up. The original Astronomy on Tap was created by postdoctoral fellow Meg Schwamb in 2013 in New York City as an event where professionals in their field could share their knowledge in a fun, safe, and interactive environment. From there, it has spread to dozens of other cities worldwide. Many Astronomy on Tap events, including the one that meets in Bryan, include time for the audience to ask questions of the presenters and to participate in quizzes (with prizes!) to test their newfound knowledge.
In other words, if you want to interact with local astronomers, share a drink with them, and learn something new in the process, you can head over to the Grand Stafford Theater on June 12 at 6:30 PM, and remember “Astronomy is even better with beer!”