16 September 2010

Mag Lab, Ray's Steel City Saloon serving up science

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Here's one equation that is easy to understand: Science + beer = good conversation.

That formula will be employed Tuesday, Oct. 5 when the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and Ray's Steel City Saloon debut The Science Café, the first in a series of events that feature face-to-face conversations with scientists about current topics related to science and technology. The café convenes at 6 p.m. and will be held the first Tuesday of each month.

"This is not a lecture," said Pat Dixon, director of the lab's Center for Integrating Research and Learning. "It's a conversation with the goal of increasing the community's understanding of how science can inform policy and other decisions of national importance."

Tuesday's topic is "From Bio Fuels to Better Batteries: Exploring America's Energy Future." Scott Hannahs, a Mag Lab physicist and a founding member of EarthSTEPS, an environmental consulting group, will kick off and inform the conversation.

Science Cafés began cropping up in the U.S. in the late 1990s and their numbers have steadily grown. Each site does things a little differently, but in general, Science Cafés are places where interested parties can explore — and even debate — new ideas in science and technology outside the formal academic setting. Ultimately, Science Café is about promoting scientific literacy and making science accessible to all.

For more information about The Science Café, contact Roxanne Hughes in the lab's Center for Integrating Research and Learning.