Wednesday, May 14, 2008

weird science

Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -- man -- acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964), biologist, writer, ecologist

for the past year, one of f and mine favorite monthly activities has been attending science café cleveland. a science café is an informal public forum for the lively discussion of a specific scientific topic. science cafés are based on the model of a european salon. science cafés occur all over the world, in the u.s. many of the science cafés are co-sponsored by nova science now (wgbh) and sigma xi, the scientific research society and you can find if there's one near you by going here.

this being cleveland, and science buffs being science buffs, our local café is held at the great lakes brewing company (glbc). we love the glbc, along with hosting the science cafés, they are also the first cleveland restaurant and pub to go smoke free (before legislation mandated it), and they not only promote but practice a sustainable business model.

when the science café started the meetings were held in a room in the brewpub, but the café has now become so popular that it necessitated a move to a larger venue - across the street to the brewery's tasting room. we haven't attended every month but we have gone to quite a few; enough that the organizers recognize us as regulars. some of the topics discussed when we've attended include: the physical and economic impacts of global warming, weird insect behavior, why people are violent, nutritional supplements, and batteries. the topics for the next three months sound quite stimulating - cryptography, sewers, and polling (interesting how polling and sewers are together).

the cleveland science café is held the second monday of each month. drinks and nibbles start at 6:30 and the discussion begins around 7. nibbles are free but if you want to drink you best bring some cash.

great lakes brewery is located at 2516 market st., cleveland. the tasting room where the cafe takes place is located across the street at 2701 carroll st. and the entrance is located across the street from daves.

photos: top- sunset over lake erie taken from cliff dr.; science café @ glbc. 12 may, cleveland

oingo boingo singing weird science (1985)

14 comments:

Gary said...

Sounds like a great way to stimulate the mind. I wonder how college courses would go over if they were held in a bar every once in a while and included beer tasting. It certainly would be different.

Steve said...

What a great idea!

Gary: I had professors who often did prefer to meet groups of students in a bar after class! Made for some lively discussion!

TheElementary said...

Good idea- I'm going to check and see if we have one near.
You always offer something valuable. Movies, books, recipes, excursions...you're a fountain of knowledge ;)

Steve said...

Thanks for your contribution, BTW. :)

Barbara said...

Sounds like a great way to meet like-minded people. Kudos to the pub for hosting it, although my guess is they turn a nice profit on each gathering!

Ernest de Cugnac said...

But Barbara, you're not saying that's a bad thing? I'm a great believer in the power of greed to provide things that society actually needs and wants!

tut-tut said...

I second Steve! D has already gone through your link to the Science Cafe website to see if he can start one here.

Barbara said...

Ernest -- This sounds like a win-win endeavor!

d. chedwick said...

Oy! The Science Club is in my old Brooklyn neighborhood! None that i can find nearby...

Ernest de Cugnac said...

Barbara: Win - win? You are right, of course. Best outcome. Thanks for dropping in on my blog BTW.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

g & s - I had lots of profs in college and graduate school that were fond of seminars in local pubs - always found such practices effective in stimulating the mind and creating a sense of solidarity among the students.

it works if classes are small.

te - thanks! maybe mm is a case of: you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but can't take the classroom out of the teacher?

s -most welcome. thank you.

barb & ernest- the brewery & pub is the type of business you want to make a nice profit as they give so much to the community. if you have time check out their website and you'll see they are a model of community commitment and practicing ecological business practices.

profit isn't a bad thing by itself.... however, there are limits. some business practices can be exploitive and profit margins unreasonably high to benefit the few at the expense of the many....

in the case of glbc I never begrudge them profit as barbara said it is a win-win!

tut- you'll have to keep me posted on how d's efforts go!

ched - maybe some day...just have to get the right nerds (I'm one so I can say that) inspired!

lettuce said...

intellectual stimulation, important issues - and good beer! sounds great

lettuce said...

(i do sometimes go for a drink with students. more entertaining than intellectually stimulating!....)

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.