Untypical night at a typical restaurant

Equipped with wooden floor, black-steel ceiling and furniture with different shades of brown, the Kirkwood Station Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri looks like a typical American restaurant during busy hours, where people gather together for beer and food after a long day. In the larger room of this place, four TV screens are broadcasting to the 20-some tables what’s going on locally (the St. Louis Cardinals are going to play an important game!) and worldwide.

But this night, the last Wednesday of September 2015, the audience is not here to watch the baseball game. Some traveled as far as 25 miles to learn about some serious geological science: rock deformation research, or “squishing rocks to study the Earth’s interior”. Besides first-timers like me, most of the audience have attended such Science on Tap events before, and welcome the speaker of the night with great attention and engagement. Dr. Phil Skemer, a young geology professor from Washington University in St. Louis, jokes about the first time giving a lecture with a microphone in one hand and a glass of beer in another, easily earning his first burst of laughter from the crowds.