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Science Cafés – A Scientist’s Perspective

Science Cafés – A Scientist’s Perspective

If you ask Dr. Ty Carroll what he liked most about his experience leading a Science Café discussion, he will tell you it was the interactive nature of it. The Science Café in which Dr. Carroll participated was about diabetes and kicked off the Health Myths/Health Facts Series of 2012.

Ty Carroll, MD, is an Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He specializes in Endocrinology and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Dr. Carroll has participated in a lot of community outreach events, but this was his first experience speaking at a Science Café. Dr. Carroll enjoyed the speaking engagement and believes that the amount of people in the audience and the varying levels of education represented made it a very good combination for a true interactive question and answer setting. Many of the questions asked by the audience were similar to what he hears in clinic, but there was a nice mix of basic and scientific questions about diabetes.
[pullquote type=”2″ align=”right”]“Eventually, how well we have engaged the community will be the reason why projects succeed or fail.”

– Ty Carroll, MD, Assistant Professor, MCW

Dr. Carroll recognizes that research projects often develop across lines with the community or with partners in other specialties and disciplines. He believes CTSI has played an important role in what is being done with research at the Medical College and that a piece of that is engaging the community. Making connections with the community and engaging them in discussions with the academic and clinical communities is a significant element of the research process. It can help clinicians learn what is important to patients and what they need. It can also widen the pool of potential research participants and lead to the development of new research projects. When asked why he thinks it is important to engage the community, Dr. Carroll answered “I think it’s important to engage the community for several reasons. These are the people we are trying to take care of, certainly in clinical care. They will ultimately benefit from the research that we do. A really important part of this is translating what we do in the basic arena into clinical care. Eventually, how well we have engaged the community will be the reason why projects succeed or fail.”

CTSI Science Cafés create opportunities for the community to engage in dialogue with an expert from a given scientific field in an informal, non-academic environment. The scientist/medical professional will speak on the evening’s topic for about 20 minutes and then, with the help of a facilitator, engage in 45-60 minutes of informal discussion with the audience. The most recent Science Cafés series, Health Myths/Health Facts, consisted of four sessions held between March 27 and June 19, 2012.

The next Science Café series My Genes/My Health will begin on Tuesday, August 7th.  If you are interested in participating future Science Cafés, contact Shannon Opel at (414) 955-5754 or sopel@mcw.edu.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


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