Details of October event: Cafe Scientifique: Prof Jeff Bagust – “Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow – The Cardiac Foxtrot” – 7pm, 2nd October, Cafe Boscanova. No need to reserve a ticket, just buy a drink or snack at the venue!
I am delighted to announce that Bournemouth will soon be hosting its very own Café Scientifique or Science Café (SciCafé) as they are often called, held first Tuesday of the month (7-9pm-ish) at Café Boscanova. What is this all about I hear you cry?
In brief, Café Scientifique is a forum for fostering public engagement with science. It’s about getting academics out of the university and into a pub, café, restaurant (not that academics necessarily require a push in this direction) or similar type of place to give a short talk related to the field in which they are researching, and then for the public to engage in asking questions of the expert and, indeed, of each other. As the Café Scientifique website neatly puts it this is “science for the price of a coffee” or, you may prefer my take on this strap-line, “science for the price of a couple of beers”.
The talk is important, but most important of all is the discussion that it stimulates. Should Oscar Pistorius have been allowed to participate in the Olympic Games? Was it worth spending billions of pounds discovering the Higgs-Boson, and what does its discovery mean? Is climate change definitely largely man-made? Why does toast always land buttered-side down?
The benefits of the discussion ought to be reciprocal – the public gets to benefit from up-to-date knowledge and to learn about what scientists actually do, and why they do what they do, ‘from the horse’s mouth’, as it were; academics meanwhile get to play their part in the wider dissemination and understanding of their field to the general public. Reporting of science in the media is often sparse and more often inaccurate. Science will never sell newspapers or magazines in quite the same numbers as will news of the signing of Wayne Rooney to Manchester City (wee joke), the Duchess of York’s latest dress or Katie Price’s latest marriage (totally serious). The Bournemouth SciCafé is one option for us to help redress the balance, dispel myths, empower, stimulate and inspire. The Bournemouth SciCafé is being organised by myself (chiropractor and BU PhD student) with Sharon Docherty (biologist and fellow AECC researcher) and two colleagues at BU, Becca Edwards (Research Development Officer – Public Engagement) and Naomi Kay (Events Co-ordinator).
Contact me, Jonny, if you’d like more information about attending or, even better, if you’d like to give a talk yourself. We’d particularly like to hear from you if you can give a talk related to the Olympics, whether on sports performance, psychology, training, the economic and social impact of the Games etc. We look forward to seeing you, or, listening and discussing with you, very soon! First speakers to be announced soon! Further updates will be posted here.
If you would like more details about public engagement activities at BU, please contact Becca Edwards on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 961206.