The purpose of the Science Café program is to strengthen science literacy by engaging the community and translational scientists in an informal setting through bi-directional dialogue of current scientific and medical issues and their translational impact on our culture and society.
Karyn Frick, PhD, MA
The primary focus of our research is to understand how sex-steroid hormones, aging, and environmental factors affect hippocampal function and hippocampal-dependent memory. This work is motivated by the rapidly expanding elderly population worldwide, which will greatly increase the prevalence of age-related cognitive decline and dementia. Our ultimate goal is to help mitigate the impact of cognitive aging on the individual and society by facilitating the development of treatments to reduce or prevent age-related memory decline in humans. To this end, we utilize rodents as research subjects because rodent species offer an unparalleled opportunity to examine systems-level and cellular-level questions about memory formation in a mammalian system where the effects of aging, hormones, and environmental stimulation are similar to those in humans. Our studies combine a variety of approaches including behavioral, biochemical, pharmacological, genetic, and anatomical methods in order to gain a more detailed picture of the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of aging, estrogens, progestagens, and environmental enrichment on the hippocampus and hippocampal memory formation.
Dr. Neuner’s research primarily focuses on clinical epidemiology, health services and quality of care among two groups: women with fractures or fracture risk factors and breast cancer survivors. She has analyzed large national databases of Medicare recipients to examine screening practices and has identified that older, highest-risk patients have a much lower chance of receiving osteoporosis screening. She has also identified racial and socioeconomic disparities in testing even after hip fracture. Dr. Neuner has used physician and patient surveys to examine decision making regarding fracture prevention. Along with MCW and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) co-investigators she is beginning an intervention to improve osteoporosis and osteoarthritis decision making through a patient portal into the electronic medical record.
Her work with breast cancer survivors has also examined large cohorts of women, both from nationwide cancer registries and a national sample of surveyed women. Most recently she has focused on the pharmacoepidemiology of bony fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw among these women. Her team recently reported an increased hip fracture risk among women using aromatase inhibitors in a large real-world cohort, a risk that was not identified in randomized trials. They are currently examining chemotherapy and bisphosphonate effects on a number of outcomes, with a focus on timing and dose.
The very first Science Café (also know as Café Scientifique) was held in Leeds in the United Kingdom in 1998.The founder of this grassroots movement, Duncan Dallas, describes a Café as “a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, people meet to discuss the latest ideas of science and technology which are changing our lives.” Since then, the Science Cafés have popped up all over the globe, with over 200 worldwide in more than 40 countries and at least 50 in the United States alone. Our Science Café series is the first in Southeast Wisconsin.
According to the website www.sciencecafes.org, a Science Café resource site maintained by the WGBH Educational Foundation, there are several ways in which Science Cafés can have educational impact:
For our Cafés, the primary focus will be on translational science. We will be able to utilize translational scientists affiliated with the CTSI partner institutions, which affords us a very wide range of topics.
August 21, 2018
437 KBScience Cafe Flyer_Precision Medicine_8.21.18
February 3, 2018
Science Cafe Flyer_Nutrition – Tabernacle Event 2-3-2018
January 30, 2018
Science Cafe Flyer_ASD_1.30.18 (003)
September 26, 2017
Prostate Cancer: What the Future Holds
August 29, 2017
Fatty Liver Disease: What We Eat, When We Eat
July 25, 2017
Alzheimer’s Disease: What the Future Holds
April 25, 2017
Opioid Epidemic: Why Now, Why Us, What To Do
February 28, 2017
DIABETES: How Do We Know Which Approaches Work Best?
Our approach is similar to the first Science Café. The format involves an expert from a given scientific field who interacts with an inquisitive public in an informal, non-academic environment.
Participants are encouraged to ask the speaker anything that they like. The casual atmosphere is conducive for a relaxed and comfortable audience and as a result, participants generally are more likely to ask questions and engage in public conversation.
Photography: During the Science Café, we may capture photos that will solely be used for the aims of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Community Engagement.
Videotaping: During the Science Café, we may capture video of the presentation and a selection of interactions between the audience and speaker. The video may be posted on various web resources, in presentations, or other educational opportunities that will solely be used for the aims of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Community Engagement.
Broadcasting: During the Science Café, we may stream the presentation and interactions between the audience and speaker. Only those in attendance (speaker and audience) will be able to view the interactions.
By attending the Science Cafe, your consent for photos, videos, or broadcasting is implied. If you do not wish to be in photos, videos, or broadcasting please inform a staff or faculty member when checking in at the registration table.
Publication or White Paper: The themes that come from the Science Cafe could be used in possible future publications or white papers. No direct quotations or identifiable information will be used for publication.
Our foundation is built on two specific concepts: health literacy and scientific literacy.
We choose to define health literacy as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.1 And scientific literacy as the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.2
1 Ratzan SC, Parker RM. 2000. Introduction. In: National Library of Medicine Current Bibilographies in Medicine: Health Literacy. Selden CT, Zorn M, Ratzan SC, Parker RM, Editors. NLM Pub. No. CBM 2000-1. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
2 National Science Education Standards, pg. 22 http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses assessed on 1/14/2013.
Science Cafés are supported by the CTSI Community Engagement Program within the Institute for Health and Society and is funded in part by Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Research and Education Initiative Fund, a component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin.