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Science Cafe

Science Cafe's and Cafe Conversations are a venue for students to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty, staff, and the community in a friendly setting.

All cafés start promptly at 5:00 pm in the Front Room located in Baker Center.  Free coffee for the first 50 people.


FACEBOOK:  Ohio University's Science Cafe

Twitter:  @OUScienceCafes


Fall 2014 Discussions

Sept. 10: Monica Burdick,Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, "Stem cells, research and hype. Oh My!"

Cafe Conversations Sept. 17: Paschal Younge, Music, "African music, a big bowl of salad: the interdisciplinarity of the musical arts of Ghana"

Sept. 24:  Ryan Fogt, Geography, "All Coupled Climate Models are Wrong, Some are Useful"

Oct. 8:  Brooke Hallowell, Communication Sciences & Disorders

Cafe Conversations Oct. 15:  Loreen Giese, English

Oct. 22:  Jason Trembly, Mechanical Engineering & Ohio Coal Research Center

Nov. 5:  Doug Clowe, Physics and Astronomy

Cafe Conversations Nov. 12:  Geoff Dabelko, Environmental Studies

Nov. 19: Dina Lopez, Geological Sciences

Dec. 3: Justin Holub, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Spring 2015 Discussions

Jan. 21:  Carl Brune, Physics and Astronomy, Cosmic Cooking:  the Origin of the Elements

Atoms are the building blocks that make up the world around us.These small units of matter are composed of nuclei and electrons, with the nuclei being built from neutrons and protons.But where do the nuclei come from exactly? Nuclear physicist Carl R. Brune, professor of Physics and Astronomy and director of Ohio University's Accelerator Lab, studies the atomic nuclei and their origins. In this upcoming science café, the Dr. Brune will explain the whys and hows of a nuclear reactions. "In the lab I combine different nuclei together and measure the results. These reactions relate to what happens inside stars," said Brune. One explanation Dr. Brune will cover at the café is how heavier elements common on Earth actually originated through the supernovae explosions of stars. Join Dr. Brune for his Science Café discussion, "Cosmic Cooking: the Origin of Elements" on January 21st at 5 p.m. in the Front Room.

Feb. 4:  David Rosenthal, Environmental & Plant Biology, Global Change and Agricultural Productivity

One of the many issues our Earth faces is food security. The need to produce enough food globally has been an ongoing concern, especially in recent years. David Rosenthal is an assistant professor in Ohio University's Department of Environmental and Plant Biology where he studies the response of photosynthesis to environmental change. How will this response affect agricultural productivity? These are questions that Rosenthal will address at 5 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 4 in the Baker Center Front Room. "One underlying aspect of global climate change is increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It affects some plants significantly more than others. This is why the pollution from your car can potentially increase agriculture productivity," Rosenthal said. Two specific plants Rosenthal will discuss are corn and soybeans and how they are affected by carbon dioxide and climate change. Globally, these are two of the most important fundamental crops in terms of caloric intake. Join Dr. Rosenthal for his Science Cafe' discussion: global Change & Agricultural Productivity."

Cafe Conversations Feb. 11:  Chester Pach, History, 1980s: the Age of Reagan and Madonna

Pop singer Madonna and U.S. President Ronald Reagan have next to nothing in common it seems, except for one thing -- their influence on the 1980s. Ohio University Associate Professor of History Chester Pach will discuss how these two historical figures defined this time period at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11 In the Baker University Center Front Room. Pach teaches courses in U.S. foreign relations and recent U.S. history. "They're obviously very different individuals. There's no evidence that they ever met or had any interaction, but in many ways they represent important parts of the '80s. The way I'm going to bring them together, is Reagan and Madonna were effective in communicating because of how they presented their views through use of images and words," said Pach. Many of Reagan's policies and ideas were popular because he advocated restoring traditional values and reviving U.S. power. He was president for most of the decade and he represented the growth of conservative views. In contrast, music icon Madonna addressed feminist issues, although in controversial ways, and sometimes turned gender stereotypes inside out. Madonna was popular because of her image and her music videos. Together she and Reagan helped define the 1980s.

Post-poned Feb. 18:  Elizabeth Gierlowski-Kordesch, Geological Sciences, Reconstructing a Jurassic Landscape

Cafe Conversations Mar. 11:  Katherine Jellison, History, Unelected Leaders:  America's First Ladies

Betty Ford, Michelle Obama, and Hilary Clinton. We know them all as First Ladies, but we also know them as powerful women. These First Ladies played an important role in the political system by representing our nation and being outspoken about various political issues. Dr. Katherine Jellison Ph.D., a professor in the department of history at Ohio University, will be discussing how these First Ladies have impacted American society over the years.

"We've taken the role of presidential spouse and made it into such an important position, a kind of position that the spouses of other world leaders don't hold. I think there is great curiously about the role of the on-the-job political training that these unelected women hold," said Jellison.

Jellison's interest in powerful women dates back to her childhood when she would take trips to the library with her class and select books in which girls were the stars. Her hope is to see a woman elected as president in the near future. 

Jellison will be speaking about First Ladies on Mar. 11, in the Front Room of Baker University Center at 5 p.m.

Café Conversations are a venue for students to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty, staff and the community in a friendly setting. Free coffee is offered to the first 50 attendees, and participants who ask questions will win a free T-shirt.

Mar. 18:  Christopher France, Psychology,I'd Like to Give Blood but.....

According to the Red Cross every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood. This translates to more than 41,000 blood donations every day.Although there is a constant need for blood, many people are ambivalent about being a blood donor; on the one hand they recognize the importance and would like to give, but on the other hand they have reservations related to fears or other concerns. Christopher France, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, has been studying blood donor recruitment and retention for 25 years and has developed simple strategies that help make the donation experience less intimidating. In his presentation he will discuss his research findings and offer practical tips to those who are feeling ambivalent."If you have fears about blood donation, this discussion is worth attending. We will be going over ways to reduce anxiety and boost one's confidence as a potential donor," said Christopher France.

Join us for "I'd Like to Give Blood but…." this Wednesday, March 18 at 5 p.m. in the Front Room.

Rescheduled Apr. 1:  Elizabeth Gierlowski-Kordesch, Geological Sciences, Reconstructing a Jurassic Landscape

When dinosaur remains are found, paleontologists try to reconstruct the prehistoric environment in which they lived. But what about the rock surrounding the bones, what can they tell us? Professor Elizabeth Gierlowski-Kordesch looks at the sediments where the bones were found to give a better idea of where the dinosaurs lived or passed through. Gierlowski-Kordesch is a professor of Geological Sciences who has been in the field of sedimentology for more than 35 years. She will talk about how sedimentology can reconstruct ancient environments at the Science Café on April 1.

"I will be discussing how to look at the rocks carefully and gain environmental information from it. So, you could say I'm an environmentalist of the past," said Gierlowski-Kordesch.

The impressions left from a dinosaur's path are found in sediments turned into sedimentary rocks. Ancient records from ancient rivers and lakes can be derived from these sediments.

Spring 2014 Discussions

Jan. 22: Sarah Wyatt, Environmental and Plant Biology

Feb. 05:  Saw Hla, Physics and Astronomy

Feb. 19: Scott Moody, Biological Sciences

Cafe Conversations Feb. 26: Haley Duschinski, Sociology and Anthropology

Mar. 19:  Mark McMills, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Cafe Conversations Mar. 26: Roger Cooper, Media Arts and Studies

April 02:  Julie Suhr, Psychology

Fall 2013 Discussions

Sept 11:  Janet Duerr, Biological Sciences, "Genes:  Are We Just Big, Smart Worms?"

Cafe' ConversationsSept. 18:  John Gilliom, Political Sciences "The Death of Big Brother and the Rise of the Surveillance Society"

Sept. 25: Larry Witmer, Biomedical Sciences, "Fleshing out Dinosaurs... in 3D!"

Check out this short video of this cafe'.

Oct. 9:  Savas Kaya, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, "Nanoscale *& Engineering:  Hype or Opportunity?

Cafe' Conversations Oct. 16:  Bill Condee, Interdisciplinary Arts

Oct. 23:  David Tees, Physics and Astronomy, "TBD"

Nov. 6:  Alycia Stigall, Geological Sciences, "Fossil Invasion! Studying Ancient Species to Help Predict Consequences of Modern Invasion"

Nov. 20:  Deb McAvoy, Civil Engineering, "TBD"

Dec. 4: John Kopchick, Biomedical Sciences and Edison Biotechnology Institute, "TBD"

 coffee cup and steam_cropped

Spring 2013 Discussions

Jan. 23: Jared Deforest, Environmental and Plant Biology, "Chemical Climate Change and Sustainability"

Feb. 6:  Bob Klein, Mathematics

Feb. 20:  Mario Grijalva, Biomedical Sciences

**SPECIAL CAFE' CONVERSATIONS** Feb. 27:  Michele Morrone, Social and Public Health

**SPECIAL CAFE' CONVERSATIONS** Mar 20:  John Sabraw, Art

**SPECIAL CAFE' CONVERSATIONS** Mar. 27:  Tom Hodson, Journalism

Apr. 3:  Geoff Buckley, Geography

Fall 2012 Discussions

Sept 05:  Frank Schwartz, Specialty Medicine, "Socioeconomic Stress, Appalachia and Chronic Disease"

Sept. 19:  Art Trese, Environmental & Plant Biology, "Sustainability:  Alternative Agriculture"

**SPECIAL CAFE' CONVERSATIONS** Sept. 26: Andre Gribou, Music, "The History of Rock and Roll"

Oct. 3: Christine Gidycz, Psychology, "Bystander Behavior and Violence on College Campuses"

**SPECIAL CAFE' CONVERSATIONS** Oct. 24:  Tom Vander Ven, Sociology and Anthropology, "Why Students Drink Too Much and Party So Hard"

Oct. 31:  Natalie Kruse, Voinovich School, "Sustainability:  Mining and Mine Reclamation"

Nov. 14:  Tad Malinski, Chemistry and Biochemistry, "The Science of Art Restoration & Identification"

Nov. 28  Joe Shields, Physics and Astronomy, "Hunting Black Holes with the Hubble"

RESCHEDULED TO Dec. 5: Martin Kordesch, Physics and Astronomy, "The Physics of Music"

Spring 2012 Discussions

April 04Willem Roosenburg,  Biological Sciences, "Turtles:  Why Girls are Hot and Boys are Cool"

April 18:  Keith Milam, Geological Sciences, "Virtual Geology:  Unraveling Planetary Secrets from Afar"

May 02:  Darlene Berryman, Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, "Big Fat Myths:  What You Didn't Know about Obesity"

Winter 2012 Discussions

Jan. 11: Dr. Michael Braasch, Electrical Engineering and Avionics Engineering Center, "Iron Stomachs & White Knuckles - Navigation System Flight Testing"

Jan. 12:  The PhD Movie, Free Admission

Jan. 25:  Dr. Molly Morris, Biological Sciences, "Beyond  Alternative Mating Strategies"

Feb. 08: Dr. Greg Van Patten, Chemistry and Biochemistry, "The Big Deal about Small Stuff"

Feb. 22:Peggy Zoccola, Psychology, "Stress:  Bad Thoughts, Bad Health?"

Mar. 07: Madappa  Prakash, Physics & Astronomy, "Extreme States of Matter  from Explosive Events in the Universe"


Fall 2011 Discussions

Sept. 14:  Dr. Brian McCarthy, Environmental & Plant Biology, "From the Brink of Extinction:  the American Chestnut"

Sept. 28:  Dr. Erin Murphy, Biomedical Sciences, "Bacteria:  The Good, the Bad and the Resistant"

Oct. 12Dr. Dave Bayless, Mechanical Engineering, "Powering the World with Pond Scum"

Oct. 26Dr. James Lein, Geography, "The Geography of Tomorrow:  The Science of Futures Research"

Spring 2011 Discussions

March 30:Dr. Alycia Stigall, Associate Professor, Geological Sciences, OHIO Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies, "Overturn of the Biotics: Predicting Biodiversity Change with Fossils"

April 13:  Dr. Harvey Ballard, Associate Professor of Environmental and Plant Biology, "How Violets will Change the World"

April 27:  Dr. Jolie Cizewski, Professor of Physics, Rutgers University, "The Magic Numbers of Maria Goeppert Mayer:  From the Manhattan Project to the Future"

Winter 2011 Discussions

Jan. 12: Dr. Martin Mohlenkamp, Associate Professor, Mathematics, "Developing in silico Methods to do Virtual Science."   

Jan. 26: Dr. Stephen Bergmeier, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, "Chemistry, the class you love to hate, and Drug Discovery."

Feb. 9: Dr. Dan Hembree, Assistant Professor, Geological Sciences, "The Secrets of Burrowing Biota: Understanding Ancient Traces of Life through Modern Organisms."

Feb. 23: Dr. Kelly Johnson, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Voinovich School, "Mayflies, Minnows, and Acid Mine Drainage: The Science of Stream Restorations."

March 9: Dr. Brook Marcks, Assistant Professor, Psychology, "From Thoughts to Obsessions: A Closer Look at Obsessive Compulsive Disorders."

Fall 2010 Schedule:

Sept. 22: Dr. Gar Rothwell, Environmental & Plant Biology, "Paleobotany and Plant Evolution"

Oct. 6: Drs. Shawn Ostermann (EECS), Hans Kruse (Information & Telecommunications Systems), Phil Campbell (Information & Telecommunications Systems), "Wireless Networking in Challenging Environments:  the Barbarism of Baker to the Perils of Pluto"

Oct. 20: Dr. Julie Owens, Psychology, "Evaluating Treatments for ADHD:  A Multi-Dimensional Approach"

Nov. 3: Dr. Eric Stinaff (Physics and Astronomy), "Where's my iQuanta:  Is quantum information processing the future of computers?"


Spring 2010 Schedule:
April 7: Dr. Stephen Reilly, Biological Sciences,  "The Biology of Walking and Running"

April 21: Dr. Ken Hicks, Physics & Astronomy,  "From Quarks to the Big Bang"

May 5: Dr. Susan Williams, Biomedical Sciences,  "Food for thought: the Evolution and Ontogeny of Feeding Mammals"

May 19: Dr. Ronaldo Vigo, Psychology,  "Molecules of the Mind"

June 2: Dr. Maarten Uijit de Haag, Engineering/Avionics,  "Nav
igation: Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere"

Winter 2
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Jan. 13: Dr. Doug Clowe, Physics and Astronomy, "The Dark Side of the Universe"

Jan. 27: Dr. Julie Suhr, Psychology, "Measuring your Mind"

Feb. 10: Dr. Morgan Vis, Environmental & Environmental Plant Biology, "Red Algae-Tree of life, huh?"

Feb. 24: Dr. Damian Nance, Geological Sciences, "From Grains of Sand to Supercontinents:  Reconstructing Earth's Geographic Past"

March 10: Dr. Jeff Rack, Chemistry & Biochemistry, "Chemical Chameleons"

Fall 2009 Schedule:

Sept. 30: Dr. Gerri Botte, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, "Alternative Energy:  The Search for Fuel"

Oct. 14: Dr. Larry Witmer, Biomedical Sciences, "Fleshing Out Dinosaur Evolution"

Oct. 28: Dr. Justin Weeks, Psychology, "Social Anxiety:  The Fear of Positive Evaluation"




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