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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Science and A Healthier You
This spring we will have doctors and scientists from various fields of research come talk about what they’ve found will help with improving your health and those you care about. Our topics range from heart disease prevention and stroke to learning about how your brain works with addictive behavior. We will also cover pediatric asthma and how you can impact Science Cafes. Join us for “Science and A Healthier You,” the 2014 Spring Science Cafés Series and learn about all of this and more.
In this series we will:
- Breathing easy throughout your lifetime.
- Why YOU should care about heart health.
- How your mind works when it comes to addiction and what you need to know.
All Science Cafés are held from 6pm to 7:30pm.
Location and Parking
Milwaukee Central Public Library
Meeting Room 1
814 W Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Street parking is free after 6pm.
Photography: A photographer will be taking pictures that will solely be used by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Community Engagement Program to promote research. By attending the Cafe, your consent is implied.
If you do not wish to be in photos please inform a staff or faculty member when checking in at the registration table or at any time during the Café.
(414)955-5754 | Email