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Science Cafés are events that take place in casual settings such as pubs and coffeehouses, are open to everyone, and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist about a particular topic.
Science Cafés represent a grassroots movement. They exist all over the world and can vary from place to place. Venues range from a local library or coffee house to a neighborhood bar. Even the names of Science Cafés vary, including Science on Tap, Science Pub, Ask a Scientist, and Café Sci.
Science Cafés welcome people who may or may not typically get involved with scientific discussions. They are not exclusive club meetings for scientists and science majors, nor do they take place exclusively in lecture halls or science museums. Rather, Science Cafés can (and do) happen in informal community gathering spaces all over the world.
The successful café fosters an informal atmosphere where all participants feel encouraged to participate. These are not long lectures with a passive audience listening to an expert. Rather, they are dynamic, two-way interactions between a scientist and the public. In this way, the public feels empowered to learn, and the scientist speaker gains valuable perspective on his or her own work.