Cafe Scientifique Syracuse honored with community outreach award
Cafe Scientifique Syracuse honored with community outreach awardMay 16, 2006Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
On May 15, five Syracuse University faculty members and one SU student received Community Outreach Awards from Technology Associates of Central New York (TACNY), in recognition of their work on Cafe Scientifique, a series of local monthly meetings dedicated to sharing information and dialogue on science topics. The awards were given at TACNY’s eighth annual Celebration of Technology Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center in Liverpool.
The awards honor the achievements of Central New York individuals, educators, companies and projects highlighting Central New York as a rewarding place to learn and work. Faculty members recognized for their service to Cafe Scientifique are:
Ana de Bettencourt-Dias, assistant professor, chemistry;
Scott Samson, associate professor and department chair, geology;
Mark Trodden, associate professor, physics;
Paul Verhaeghen, associate professor, psychology;
and Peter Plumley, associate professor-adjunct, civil and environmental engineering.
The student recognized is Gwendolyn Maturo, a graduate student in education.
Maturo and Plumley work on Jr. Cafe Scientifique, a program designed for Syracuse middle and high school students.
“We are delighted and honored that TACNY has chosen us to receive this award,” says Trodden. “The best thing that could come out of this is that more people realize that there are interesting scientific cultural events going on downtown and choose to take part in this aspect of city life.”
Cafe Scientifique began in Leeds, England, in 1998. Since then, cafes have sprung up across Europe and in North and South America, Asia and Australia. Today, more than 30 cafes meet regularly to hear scientists, researchers or writers talk about their work and discuss it with diverse audiences. The meetings encourage participants to learn about and debate science issues.
Inspired by the success of cafes around the world and in chapters across the United States, Bettencourt-Dias, Samson, Trodden and Verhaeghen started the Syracuse chapter in August 2005. The organizers are proud of their successful first year and have plans to refine the program, seek funding that would make the events free to all, and attract participants from non-academic backgrounds to the meetings. Past topics addressed at Cafe Scientifique include the Human Genome Project, the use of chemistry in forensic science, cosmic history and the energy crisis.
With an inclusive, cordial environment and lively discussions, Cafe Scientifique Syracuse welcomes all members of the community who have an interest in the sciences, not just science professionals. The group meets each month at Ambrosia, 201 Walton St. in downtown Syracuse. Following a summer hiatus, the meetings will resume on Sept. 5 with “The Dating Game: How We Know the Earth is 4.5 Billion Years Old,” with geology professor Samson. Meetings begin at 7 p.m., and a $5 door fee covers admission and refreshments. Students attend for free.
For more information on this and upcoming Cafe Scientifique events, contact Trodden at 443-2564 or visit http://www.physics.syr.edu/cafescientifique/.