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Science Cafés

Science Cafés

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.

About Science Cafés

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:

  • Conversations increase understanding. Participating in a discussion gives people the chance to think through new ideas and reformulate them in their own words.
  • Conversations increase interest. The open-ended nature of a science café enables people to explore whatever aspects of a topic, or the scientific process in general, interest them most.
  • Conversations lead to more conversations. People enjoy talking about issues at a science café and are therefore likely to discuss the topic outside of the café with friends and family.
  • Conversations are equalizers. Face to face conversations help to dispel misperceptions and stereotypes of scientists and their work.

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.

Virtual Science Café Presentation Series 2021

Date/TimeHostPresentation Title
January 28
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Canaan Missionary Baptist ChurchUnderstanding Food and Nutrition Labels: The Path to Healthy Food Choices and Weight Loss

A Collaboration Between the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and General Baptist State Convention of WI
February 6
8:00 – 9:00 am
General Baptist State Convention of WI
Congress of Christian Education
No Flu for You: Protect Yourself, Protect Others (Vaccination) Introducing Antibody Testing
February 15
6:00 – 7:00 pm
True Love Missionary Baptist ChurchLove Your Heart: Heart Health for Women of Color
February 22
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Greater Mt. Eagle Baptist ChurchProtect Against COVID-19: What You Need to Know to Vaccinate with Confidence
March 8
6:00 – 8:00 pm
General Baptist State Convention of WIA Year Into COVID-19: Vaccinations, Antibody Testing and What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself
March 9
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Hallowed Missionary Baptist ChurchThe Trouble with Chronic Renal Disease and What You Need to Know to Protect Your Kidneys
March 15
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Second Baptist ChurchFollow-up: Get on Top of Low Mood
March 22
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Providence Missionary Baptist ChurchColorectal Health: Pitfalls and Opportunities and What You Need to Know
April 20
6:00 – 7:30 pm
True Love Missionary Baptist ChurchDon't Lose Sight of Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy: How You can Prevent Blindness
April 26
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Zion Hill Missionary Baptist ChurchA Holistic Approach to Care: How to Take Care of a Person with Alzheimer’s and Dementia While Taking Care of the Caregiver
May 18
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Hallowed Missionary Baptist ChurchMental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 24
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Providence Missionary Baptist ChurchIntermittent Fasting: Weight Management and Diabetes Prevention
May 27
6:00 – 7:30 pm
True Love Missionary Baptist ChurchMenopause
June 15
6:00 – 7:30 pm
GBSC LaymenMen’s Health
August 24
6:00 – 7:30 pm
True Love Missionary Baptist ChurchChildhood Immunization and COVID-19 Vaccine Update
September 16
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Friendship Missionary Baptist ChurchSickle Cell Disease
September 28
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Greater Spring HillLet’s Move
October 5
6:00 – 7:30 pm
HallowedChurch Safety
October 28
6:00 – 7:30 pm
True Love Missionary Baptist ChurchBreast Cancer
November 9
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Antioch Missionary Baptist ChurchAlzheimer’s Disease: Research Update
November 18
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Canaan Missionary Baptist ChurchIntermittent Fasting
December 7
6:00 – 7:30 pm
True Love Missionary Baptist ChurchAdult Immunization (Flu) and COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Past Science Cafés - PODCASTS

Podcasts of Past Science Cafés

In case you were unable to attend, recordings of past cafés are available below to stream or download.

Also available at:


Past Science Cafés - EVENT FLYERS
Our Science Café Format & Goals


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.

  • The scientist/medical professional will speak on the evenings topic for about 20 minutes.
  • There is a short break to allow participants to mingle and begin discussing the topic with one-another and the presenter.
  • The speaker, with the help of a facilitator, engages in 45-60 minutes of informal discussion with the audience.

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.

Please Note

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.


  • Strengthen science literacy.
  • Transfer knowledge between a translational researchers and an inquisitive public.
  • Demonstrate the important role science plays in society.
  • Demonstrate the important role the community plays in science.
  • Create opportunities for CTSI of Southeast Wisconsin faculty, staff, students and public to engage one another on health related issues in an environment outside an academic setting.
  • Inspire the public to be more comfortable interacting with scientific and/or medical experts.
  • Inspire scientific and/or medical experts to be more comfortable discussing science and health issues with the public.
  • Create environment for community to teach CTSI faculty about issues around community literacy and applicability.

Health and Scientific Literacy

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.

Supported By

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.

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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.


Children's Hospital of WisconsinMarquette UniversityMSOEUWMVersitiVA Medical Center