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Issue Date: November 2007

Buzz Light Years

Science Cafe Cleveland may not teach you the empirical formula for alcohol, but Case's monthly discussion at Great Lakes Brewing Co. covers everything from stem cells to dark matter.
Tori Woods
Science served up with suds? We’ll drink to that.

The second Monday of every month, scientific-minded thinkers can stop by Great Lakes Brewing Co. for beer, food and a hearty helping of heady discussion on topics ranging from human evolution to global warming.

The monthly gathering, known as Science Café Cleveland, was started by Case Western Reserve University’s chapter of Sigma Xi, a scientific research society, and follows a format that has been gaining steam internationally: Scientific discussions in informal places.

“The real goal of Science Café is to take science to the people, rather than expecting the people to come and attend a lecture at a university,”

explains Darin Croft, Ph.D., a Case professor who heads the program. “It’s very interactive so that people can feel comfortable asking questions of our experts, and discussing the topics and giving their own opinions.”

About 100 people ranging from undergrads to retirees attend each session, which is led by an expert, or two, on the topic being discussed. The discussions are lively, the topics are interesting, and the beer, of course, is always flowing.

“Cleveland’s got a lot of resources, and a lot of people are interested in learning here,” Croft says. “There are so many people with knowledge to share.”

The next Science Café Cleveland is scheduled for Nov. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. The topic will be “Brains on Alert for Fight or Flight: Why are so many people violent?”

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