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.
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.
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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.