A little science with your coffee . . . ?

'Fusion power', 'The 100,000 Genome Project', 'Advances in Eye Surgery', 'The geology of Wantage' . . .  just some of the themes for our town team Cafe Scientifique monthly free talks series, and a sense of the very strong and wide-ranging science, technology and engineering expertise among business and organisations around our town.

When the town team project started, finding ways to draw on that expertise and better connect our town centre with those businesses and organisations was a key objective.

We were very lucky that local science communicator, Sarah Fell, agreed to step up and help us get our own version of the national Cafe Scientifique thread off the ground here, and we had generous support and advice on how best to run things from our friends at Didcot Cafe Scientifique. The team at Bay Tree Café on Newbury Street kindly agreed to act as hosts, and Wantage Cafe Scientifique was underway – a monthly second Tuesdays event with an invited local speaker from a science, technology and engineering business or organisation making a presentation and answering questions from the audience.

From the outset, it was a popular addition to Wantage's local events programme and saw the Bay Tree host a number of full-house events.

Wantage Cafe Sci is now hosted by The Beacon who've done a great job looking after us, and audiences have continued to grow.

Sarah handed over the baton of organising speakers and introducing the event to the town team’s Mim Norvell who has the kind support of Faith Culshaw.

We’re always keen to take on board suggestions for new subjects and great speakers, so please be in touch with Mim via mimnorvell@gmail.com if you have any Cafe Sci ideas.

Look out for the pre-event posters – like the ones you see on this post – advertising upcoming events. You can also follow us via our FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/WantageCafeSci/ and there’s detail on the initiative nationally at http://www.cafescientifique.org/

Cafe Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place in cafes, bars, restaurants and even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context.