Tel Aviv bars get physical

December 29, 2011 - 8:34 PM by

Will Tel Aviv bars become the next university lecture hall?

I used to get dizzy from studying physics in high school. But that’s because I had no idea what the teacher was talking about. Israeli participants in a new science lecture series have a better reason for feeling a little light headed though. The talks are taking place in Tel Aviv bars.

According to Ha’aretz, the series of lectures on everything from quantum physics and linguistics to space and high tech is the initiative of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, which is looking for ways to broaden their student base.

“”We were thinking about how to get to the general public, who might find science lectures interesting but just doesn’t know it. If we arrived at where they were, they might listen,” Weizmann Institute spokesman Yivsam Azgad told Haaretz. Especially if there’s some really good dark beer on tap, he might have added.

At first, the idea was met with skepticism by the hip, Tel Aviv night club establishment.

“Bar owners were reluctant to give away their establishment on Thursday nights. There were those who told me ‘you don’t know bars in Tel Aviv, they’re loud, people drink and make out, how would the lecturer feel?’”

Only that it turned out that the skeptics were in the minority, with the project now taking place in 40 bars, including some of the biggest and most successful in the city, with another 50-venue project in the works.

Some offshoots to the project include “User Interface on a Beer,” a series of lectures taking place in bars and geared at programmers and Internet professionals. Another is Wize, which hosts bar lectures on a weekly basis. The upshot is that the science geeks and the beautiful night lifers are finding out they’re often one and the same. And, if nothing else, there are surely some very original pick up lines coming out of the lectures. Did you hear the one about the wave function who couldn’t walk straight?


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