Cafe Scientifique Orlando is a gathering of scientifically-inclined people in Central Florida, who meet at a cafe, coffee house, pub, or nonacademic location to discuss events and ideas in the world of science. We enjoy beer and wine, and we use plain language to talk about extraordinary ideas.
“Cafe Scientifique” is the name given to a few meetings in pubs in the late 1990s in England, modeled after some French “Cafe Philosophique” dating back a century. They were set in nonacademic places, so that it would remove mystery and detachment from what should be everyday ideas and processes, and pull heady topics into the real world, where they belong.
Science Cafes spread, slowly at first, through Europe and to strongly academic cities in the US. Derek Demeter first staked a claim for Orlando on an Internet bulletin board, asking for help. Chad Miller contacted Derek in late 2007 and they picked the middle of 2008 as a good starting time for Orlando’s first science cafe.
Finding speakers was the most intimidating challenge. Derek, an astronomer, agreed to speak at the first cafe, and Chad roamed the hallways of UCF and got pledges and promises from many amazing people to speak in the future, so Derek and Chad felt comfortable committing to the schedule indefinitely.
To publicize to gain an audience and to fish for speakers, Chad sought out established local science figures. Sigma Xi, a national scientific society, has one of its goals to promote science cafes, so Chad invited Leslie Lieberman, UCF SigXi president, to help, and Leslie suggested Ed Haddad, executive director of the Florida Academy of Sciences, would be an excellent help too.
The first Cafe was held in an actual cafe, Stardust Coffee and Video, a lovely bohemian coffee shop. In July 2008, Derek spoke about the Mars Pheonix Lander, and Leslie agreed to speak for the second month about evolution’s influence on obesity.
Thereafter, the four continued to run the science cafe with varying levels of involvement. For the most part, now almost five years in, Leslie and Ed liaise with the scientific elite and press, and Chad organizes speakers, scheduling, venues, and everyday details.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort, perhaps six hours a month altogether, but we get incredible returns, in helping to raise the public’s understanding, and maybe even love, for science.
If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
|Race to the Moon||18 November, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Good Bacteria||9 September, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Marine Ecosystems||8 August, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Solar System||7 July, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Robotics||6 June, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Cloud Computing||13 May, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Nanoscience||8 April, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Fire Ants||11 March, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Food Preservation||5 March, 2014 - 19:00||Eden Bar at...|
|Marine Mammals||11 February, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Bees||14 January, 2014 - 18:30||downtown library|
|Frankenfood||10 December, 2013 - 18:30||downtown library|