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Proposal for a series of science cafes

Proposal for a series of science cafes

Executive Summary


Science Cafes are an outreach educational program to the local community.  A typical science café begins with short, informal presentations from one or several informed individuals.  The bulk of the café is a moderated conversation between these individuals and an audience. 


A series of science cafes will be hosted by various ACS local sections. The first general topic will be water. Each section will pick a particular topic based partially on local interests and expertise.  A section based in or near Washington DC would host a policy-based café at the beginning or the end of a series. 


Local sections in the mid- or southeast-Atlantic area will host.  Science cafes are sometimes held at restaurants, brew pubs, or pizza parlors, but they are sometimes held at local colleges or universities.


Each section will be responsible for hosting one event, by inviting speakers and doing publicity work.  Each participating section will also host viewing or listening events for events taking place at other sections.


Spring 2019 will be the first series.  Subsequent series will be hosted each year thereafter.


The main equipment needs revolve around presenting the event to remote locations, gathering questions from a remote audience, and recording the meeting.


Further comments

This section represents planning as it stands as of late January, 2018.

Costs and Funding

The main equipment needs are a camera and a microphone for each section. There are also costs associated with providing light refreshments and renting a venue.

There are several possible funding sources within ACS.  There is a Science Café Mini-grant.  There is a Leadership Institute Mini-grant to facilitate cooperation among sections.  There is also an Innovative Projects Grant (IPG) grant program and a Members Engaging Through Technology (METT) grant program.  One group might have to take the lead and apply for a larger grant and disburse funds to other sections.

NOVA may be able to fund a first science café.


Light refreshments will be provided. 


What has been accomplished so far.  A discussion group was set up through ACS Network.

Spring or Fall 2018.  Each section will host a café.

Spring and Fall 2018.  Planning meetings will be held.  Among the issues to be addressed will be the best technology, both hardware and software, to use.

Future Directions

  If the format is successful, the second general topic may be energy.