Science bars redefine going out and partying

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

We all know that pubs and cafes have long been a breeding ground for new ideas and literary works of art, but could cafes be the new place for learning about... science?

In a grassroots movement, cafes and pubs in Michigan are fast becoming a science learning community where students can casually intake scientific theories while sipping a latte or beer, redefining the way college students go out and “party.” 

"You can drink alcohol while listening to the lecture. It is not in a classroom. Be casual," said biology professor Laura Thurlow at Jackson Community College and science liaison for the city's science café.

Thurlow said that the science café events started in 2009 have continually gained popularity over the past years with three or four lectures per semester.

So far, lectures attract around 60 people per talk with 10 to 15 minutes of small group discussion led by a short presentation by Jackson Community College science students and a guest speaker from a local university of someone active in the community.

Afterwards, attendees mix and mingle and talk science.

Thurlow said, "The science café is a way to engage the general public in discussing science in a casual way.”

Trading in lab coats for jeans and t-shirts, the idea is spreading even to universities like Notre Dame and Grand Valley State University.

In Ann Arbor, the next science café will be hosted at Conor O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub and the topic is "Water, Oil and Energy”… and Guinness?

What better way to learn about chemical reactions?

(Via South Bend Tribune)