Sunday, July 10, 2005

Café Scientifique Syracuse - a Teaser

I was intending to write a long post today about the upcoming inaugural meeting of Café Scientifique in Syracuse. This required me to finish the web site and use a number of files that are stored on the Physics department server. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that this server is down for almost the entire day while the switch to a new server is completed. I do still want to write something about this, in order to get the message out to anyone in Syracuse who may be interested and happens to watch this space, so I'm going to give the bare bones here, and then provide a lengthy discussion of it in a longer post very soon.

As explained on the Café Scientifique web site,
"Cafe Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings have taken place in cafes, bars, restaurants and even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context.

The first Cafes Scientifiques were held in the UK in Leeds in 1998. Since then, Cafes Scientifiques have sprung up in Newcastle, Nottingham and Oxford and the network has now begun to expand to other cities in the UK. We hope that by 2003 there will be a thriving network of 20 to 30 Cafes that meet regularly to hear scientists or writers on science talk about their work and discuss it with diverse audiences.

Cafe Scientifique is a forum for debating science issues, not a shop window for science. We are committed to promoting public engagement with science and to making science accountable."
The idea has now spread to a number of different places worldwide. The Syracuse branch is being organized by a group of us spanning the science departments at Syracuse University - myself (representing Physics), Ana de Bettencourt-Dias (Chemistry), Scott Samson (Earth Sciences), Paul Verhaeghen (Psychology) and a Biologist to be named very soon.

Our inaugural meeting will be held at Ambrosia restaurant in Armory Square in Syracuse on August 2nd at 7pm. There will be a $5 door charge, but this will cover some delicious snacks provided by Ambrosia, and our own bartender so that we don't constantly have to go into the main part of the restaurant to order drinks. For the first meeting, we will cover the door charge for the first thirty people who arrive.

When I write my long post about this I'll include links to our web site, the title and speaker and directions to Ambrosia, but, given my technological restrictions, I've written all I can for now.
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