Dr. Sarah Webb and Dr. Deanna Beasley outside a Chatt About Science event.
Can I interest you in a shot of science with your caramel macchiato?
Science cafes are popping up across the country and around the world.
The concept is simple, researchers chat with the public about their exciting work at a coffee bar, ‘real’ bar, or another public place. Instead of a technical presentation, the researchers share their stories in language easily understood by a diverse audience of non-scientists. Conversation, questions, and debate then follow with the goal of boosting public understanding of – and support for – science.
Most major cities have science cafe programs, but when freelance writer Dr. Sarah Webb moved to Chattanooga in 2012, she was surprised that the city didn’t have its own. It took a few years, but she started one herself – calling it Chatt About Science.
The first event took place November 2016. She’s currently planning number six. Each Chatt About Science attracts an average of 20 people to a local coffeehouse to learn about science. So far, topics have included plant ecology, chemistry, memory, urban ecology, and water quality.
In this Q & A, Dr. Sarah Webb shares what she learned as she brought Chatt About Science to life. Hopefully, this will inspire you to do the same in your community. Continue reading