What is Science Cafe
Science Cafe is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place in cafes, bars, restaurants and even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context. Science Cafe is a forum for debating science issues, not a shop window for science. We are committed to promoting public engagement with science and to making science accountable. Science Cafe is a forum for the discussion of important and interesting scientific issues. They are informal and accessible - much more so than a public lecture. Who else will be there? Audiences consist of people who are interested in science but generally never have the opportunity to discuss their views with, and ask questions of, someone "in the know". No scientific knowledge is assumed by the speakers, so anyone can participate.
What happens at a Science Cafe?
Cafes start with a short talk from the speaker, who is usually a scientist or a writer on science to introduce the topic. After this there is usually a short break to allow glasses to be refilled and conversations to start. This is followed by an hour or so of questions and answers and general discussion. Anyone can ask a question, and we positively welcome those which begin "This might be a stupid question, but ..." These questions are invariably not stupid and often rather insightful.Where and When?
Science Cafes are hosted in a range of venues. Most are in bars or cafes, but some use bookshops, theatres or community spaces. Science Cafes are held regularly (e.g. the last Tuesday or the second Monday of the month) and take place in the evening.
What subjects will be discussed?
Science Cafes cover a wide range of issues relating to science and technology. Topics covered have included AIDS, the Big Bang, biodiversity, cancer, code-breaking, consciousness, Darwinism, ecology, evolution, extreme life, foetal experience, genetically modified organisms, global warming, infertility, nanotechnology, the Public Understanding of Science movement, sports science, superconductors and more. All Science Cafes welcome suggestions from the audience about their programmes. If you want to find out more about a particular topic, go along to your local cafe and suggest it to the organisers.
Do I need to buy a ticket?
Cafes are generally free and you can just turn up on the night. However, in some venues a small entry charge is made to cover venue costs and many cafes pass a hat round on the night for contributions towards the speaker's travel expenses. These are always voluntary.
Does Science Cafe make a profit?
Science Cafes does not make a profit from events or pay fees to speakers.