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Science Cafés

30 posts

I own a blog called and I'd like to make it into a non-profit that will help both children and adults gain the real world skills we need to compete in this technologically ruled world, but I need help from others. I own a Search Engine Marketing Company in NYC which keeps me very busy but it also gives me the know how to promote and design websites and businesses.  I believe with my skills and the help from others who are savvy in law and management we can make this happen.


As the father of a 5 year old I see our country falling way behind in the science, math and programming fields and I want to stop this degradation from happening. We can do it but it will require all of us to make programs like the one I am suggesting to happen.


If you are serious about helping me make this happen by investing time with me and gathering up friends and business partners to help please contact me through my websites or by responding to this.  Our kids future and the US as a whole depends on us doing the right thing.



Peter Marino
Owner of

Laura Melohn

Science Cafes in the News

Posted by Laura Melohn Aug 24, 2012

Portsmouth Brewery partners with UNH for new Science Cafe


NOVA "Neuro" Science Café

Science Café: Aquatic Exploration in the Middle of the Desert


Newspapers may feature your science cafe in an article or highlight you science cafe in their events section.  Take advantage of the opportunity to expand your audience.

Laura Melohn

Science Cafes and Meetup

Posted by Laura Melohn Jun 27, 2012

In the last post I discussed the community on Facebook, this week I profile another community, Meetup. Meetup is solely used for groups to plan meetings; which makes it a perfect home for your science café. Those interested in attending your science café join the Meetup for your science café and get alerts when you post a new event.  You can also use the space to take polls of members about topic ideas, venues, etc.  Meetup also offers the option to post photos and files and pages about your event. You can even hold discussions as part of your Meetup site.  There is a small fee for Meetup, paid by the organizer.  Below is a list of several science cafés who use Meetup.  Notice (on the left hand column of their Meetup page) that some of them also have Twitter accounts and Facebook presences. You don’t have to limit yourself to one type of social media.

Are you looking for more information on how to start a Meetup? Check it out on their site.

How do I get started?

What is a Meetup group?

See how other Science Cafés are using Meetup:

Facebook is on online social networking community.  Many of you probably already use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Facebook also has the option to create groups.  When you make updates to your group page people who have joined your group will be notified.  A group can be used to let people know about upcoming events.  Be sure to include the topic and when and where the event will occur. You can also use it as a forum for discussion before and after the event. And as a place to share science information before and after an event; some groups even post a summary of the event after it has happened.  Also be sure to include other websites, or social media sites for your science café.


Interested in getting started, see resources online.


Getting Started

Group Basics

More about Groups


See how other Science Cafés are using Facebook:

Laura Melohn

Science Cafe Twitter List

Posted by Laura Melohn May 29, 2012

Ever considered starting a twitter feed for your science cafe?  Twitter can be a great way to engage with your attendees and gain new attendees.  Your feed can include information about your cafes as well as other science information you find online or retweet from other twitter users.  I've created a science cafe list on Twitter. Check it out for ideas.  Have I missed any?  Add them in the comments section and I'll add them to the list.

The New York Local Section held 4 science cafes in 2010.  The science cafes were held by their Long Island and Westchester Subsections. Topics included the fountain of youth, poisons in the news and forensic science.  The cafes drew crowds of over 200 people.  And were promoted via email, newsletter, and website.

The Chemical Society of Washington held a science cafe titled, 'Promoting Public Health: A Century of Chemical Contributions to Food, Drug and Cosmetic Regulation' by Dr. Suzanne Junod.  The event drew 57 attendees, 37 members and 20 non-members.  The cafe was held in the Atrium, U of Maryland Chemistry Department.  And CSW partnered with the Chemistry Department at the University of Maryland.  The science cafe featured 30 minutes of informal discussion, about the current role of the FDA and its establishment.  The presentation was followed by a Q&A session of approximately 30 mintes.


Thank you to the Chemical Society of Washington for supplying the inforamtion for this blog.

The Illiniois-Iowa Local Section held a Science Cafe at the Quad City Botantical Center, Rock Island, IL.  Dr. Donald Wuebbles presenting a presentation about Confronting Global Warming.  The event drew over 100 people and was advertised by the local Sigma Xi chapter, the local ACS section, Augustana College, the Radish Magazine and St. Ambrose University.  The local section partnered with Sigma Xi, Augustana College Darwin Club, and Augustana College Geology Department to make the event a success. Following Dr. Wuebbles presentation the audience participated in a question and answer period.


Thank you to the Illinois-Iowa Local Section for providing the material for this blog.

The Chicago Local Section held a science cafe featuring Dr. Rong Wang about stem cell research.  The event was held at the Hokin Gallery.

The local section partnered with the Science and Mathematics Department of Columbia College.  The cafe was promoted several ways, including,

Columbia and Chicago Section ACS websites, email notices, and poster flyers. Dr. Rong Wang, Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago made a presentation on Stem Cell research, followed by a Q&A session.  The event also included a buffet lunch.  The event drew approximately 23 attendees.

The Syracuse Local Section held a Science Cafe at the McCrobie Civic Center. The event was attended by 106 people.  The cafe, "Green Products, Ideas, and Services" featured, Jamie Edelstein, president of the Northeast Organic FarmingAssociation (NOFA) who spoke about organic farming.  The event also featured a panel discussion consisting of Katie Stout of the GrindstoneFarm,  Jean Siracusa, owner of the HappyBee Heirloom Farm, Nancy Weber, President of the Oswego County Farm Bureau, John DeHollander,Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation Manager, and JJ Schell of the CornellCooperative Extension.  The evening concluded with a discussion on issues from the presentation and panel discussion.  The local section partnered with SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and CommunityRelations and Green Team to sponosr the event.

Thank you to the Syracuse Local Section for providing the information for this report.

The Northwest Louisiana Local Section held  a science cafe featuring "Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius."  The cafe took place February 25th, 2011 and the discussion was led by Brian Salvatore ((Race and Opportunity in Education and Science).  The local section partnered with the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana (BRF) which allowed the local section to hold a free event, including food.  The event was publicized through email distribution and media requests to the local NPR station and local television station.  The attendance was approximately 50 people of ages 9-70, mostly non-ACS members.  The event was held downtown in the multi-purpose screening room at the Robinson Film Center.  The audience sat at tables which allowed them to interact before, during and after the movie screening.  Discussions were held at the mid point and end of the movie. 


Thank you to the Northwest Louisina Local Section for providing the information for this blog.

Mid-Hudson Local Section held a Science Cafe at the Poughkeepsie, Barnes and Noble bookstore.  The Science Cafe featured Dr. Chris Smart who spoke about Honeybees in the Hudson Valley a Chemists Perspective.  The crowd numbered 25, the majority of whom were non-members.  The event was advertised in the local section newsletter and on their listserve as well as at local universities. 


This was the local section's second Science Café talk of the year and was a better topic for the general public and was held in a more public location at a local bookstore.   There were a few logistical problems we could have done better with but the main problem the section still has is advertising the talk.  Advertising should be more direct to the community but the local section was not sure how to accomplish this.  As a way to remedy this issue the local section has added to their Board an advertising position to help notify local newspapers and explore various other methods of letting the community know about the talks. 


The talk itself was very successful with lots of give and take between the speaker and the audience and the audience was very enthusiastic and interested.  This talk ran a bit longer than anticipated because of the interest shown by those attending.


Thank you to the Mid-Hudson Local Section for the information for this blog.

The North Carolina Local Section held a Science Cafe in February 2011 at the Back Bar of Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill.  The event was attended by approximately 35 people, mostly non members. The speaker, Dr. Frank Princiotta, USEPA,Director of the Air PollutionPrevention and Control Division, spoke about climate change.  The topic revolved around data that supports climate change,and where the technologies are for alternative energy sources.  The event was advertised the local section listserve, local universities, and at the restaurant. 


Thank you to the North Carolina Local Section for the information for this blog.

The Tampa Bay Local Section held several science cafes in 2009.  They were all held in restaurant settings.  The format of the 3 science cafes was speakers speaking for 15-30 minutes and then the speakers mingling with the attendees and answering questions in small groups for approximately an hour.  Attendance ranged from 50 to 100 with the majority being non ACS members.  And they partnered with The Peir Aquarium.  The first, "Why Caffeine may be Good for You" was presentaed by Mark Eichenbaum, MD.  The second, "Green Chemistry and Engineering, Our Future Our Decision" was presented by Eric T. Steimle, Ph.D. The third, "Nanotechnology: From Prot Security to Sunscreen, Building on the Scale of Molecules" was presented by John Bumgarner, Ph.D.


Thank you to the Tampa Bay Local Section for providing the information for this blog.

The California Local Section held a Science Cafe titled, The Science of Art Conservation and the Sacred Art of Bhutan, in November of 2010.  The cafe featured Mark Fenn, Associate Head of Conservation, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and was held at the Community Hall, Lafayette Library, Lafayette, CA.  Attendance was 114, 109 of which were non ACS members.  They partnered with Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation.  The event was highly publicized by posting flyers in surrounding communities, local newspaper announcements and articles, and announcements to other groups meeting at the Lafayette Library, library calendar of events, California Section ACS website and newsletter.


Thank you to the California Local Section for providing the information for this blog.