Driving back from the a meeting a few weeks ago (May 10th), I was listening to Material World on BBC radio 4. It’s a great programme, which makes scientific matters interesting and accesible even to dullards like me.
In this particular edition, they were discussing cafe scientifique, which I had never heard of before (shame shame shame).
Cafe Sci, for any as ignorant as me, are informal settings where anyone can go and hear about some scientific topic, and enter into open discussion. There is probably one near you, see the Cafe Sci website.
So there were a few key quotes that made me laugh, because of how they echoed things I have heard about new expressions of Church.
Here’s a couple of great examples:
“… lets get away from the stuffy way of presenting…”
“… its really difficult to get an audience… we put a lot of effort into trying to reach folk… its easy to reach academics and students, but we want people who have never thought of science before… reaching them is the challenge…”
“… people may never cross the threshhold because of prejudices and past experiences…”
“… the japanese government think that cafe scientifique is a way of getting people to like science again, and its very much not that, its not a science establishment attempt to recruit support, its about making science democratic, and letting the citizen contribute…”
“… we have to constantly tweak it…”
“… some scientists are much better than others at talking!”
All good stuff.