Bell Museum brings science to public

The Kitty Cat Klub in Dinkytown will host scheduled science discussions open to the public.

by Naomi Scott

Already a worldwide movement, the Bell Museum of Natural History will begin a new discussion series next week that brings science to new audiences.

By leaving laboratories for cafes and bars, the monthly series titled Cafe Scientifique will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss scientific topics.

“A lot of science isn’t very showy,” Bell Museum Curator Kevin Williams said.

The program, which started in England in 1998, aims for social settings to talk about topics such as AIDS, infertility and Darwinism.

“This is an opportunity for the public to hook (onto) interesting scientific subjects and present them in an accessible way,” Williams said.

The discussions are the idea of University junior Shanai Matteson, who helped expand Cafe Scientifique to the area.

“This is more of a social event than a straight-up science talk,” she said.

The series has three discussions scheduled so far, all to be held at the Kitty Cat Klub in Dinkytown.

University professor Craig Packer will give the first lecture by discussing his experience studying African lions’ sexual behaviors in the Serengeti.

The lecture will include a PowerPoint presentation and actual video footage, Williams said, before starting the discussion.

“He’s pretty fired up about working with us,” Williams said.

Next month’s discussion features the relationship between politics, science and the November election, Williams said.

Bringing scientific discussions to livelier atmospheres will hopefully yield bigger audiences, Williams said.

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