If you find yourself in the East Midlands area this Monday, you might want think about visiting the Nottingham Cafe Scientifique, being held at Lord Robert’s Pub. The speaker will be Rob Stockman, from the University of Nottingham, who is an excellent speaker, and will talk to the public about the unusual link between deadly chemicals and medicines.
If you’ve never heard of Cafe Scientifiques, they are events held around the world which invite scientists to speak to members of the public, without any slides to hide behind, about their work and be grilled for up to an hour with whatever questions are fired at them.
Unlike traditional academic talks, they must be understandable for a general audience, as the listeners may have no scientific background whatsoever. This, combined with the unusual questions non-scientists come up with provides an entertaining but thought-provoking evening for audience and speaker alike.
There is absolutely no cost for the event, you simply turn up, buy a drink, and listen to some new and interesting science.Then, you get to ask as many questions as you like.
If you aren’t in the Nottingham area, you can find your own nearest Cafe on this website – or you can even start your own!
Many scientists don’t have an opportunity to present their work to the public, where a lack of scientific training leads to questions and discussions which you might not have considered before. It’s a great opportunity to think about your own research in a completely different way, and invites you to reevaluate your research goals when you’re inevitably asked ‘…but what’s the point?”.
If you’re not quite brave enough to talk yourself yet, I suggest that you try and attend a Cafe and see what you think of the experience as an audience member. It’s always fun to find out about new and exciting research, and to see what the public’s opinion is of science right now.
Have a look on the website, and see what you think!