Next up in my series of public engagement activities that you could include in the Festival of Learning is the humble cafe – otherwise known as a Science Cafe, Cafe Scientifique or a Philosophy Cafe.
The basic premise of this activity is for academics to give a short talk on their subject area (in a way that is both accessible, but also sometimes provocative) before informal discussion takes place amongst participants.
Key to this (the clue is in the name) is to encourage convivial discussion in an non-academic environment, typically a cafe or bar, to allow people to relax and contribute to discussion. Crucial to making this format work is to ensure that the initial talk is thought provoking, provides a starting point for discussion and encourages the audience to contribute to the debate. To do this, it can be fruitful to move away from the traditional lecture format – which normally means no powerpoint, stages or lecterns!
If you would like to talk more about ideas that you have for the Festival of Learning, please contact Becca on email@example.com or 01202 961206.