‘Science on the Hill’ Encourages Neighborhood Conversations on Topical Science
Monday, August 18, 2014
PHILADELPHIA (August 16, 2014) — Science cafés bring scientific knowledge out of research labs and lecture halls and into neighborhood venues. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) recently awarded a three-year, $6,000 grant to fund “Science on the Hill,” Saint Joseph’s version of the brainy but breezy community gathering.
“Science cafés welcome everyone, especially those who are interested in the topic but who may not typically have the chance to get involved in discussions,” says Edwin Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology. “We are grateful to the ASBMB for giving us the opportunity to engage with our Wynnefield, Overbrook and Bala Cynwyd neighbors in these lively conversations.”
Program Manager Caitlin Fritz says that a successful science café creates an informal atmosphere where all participants feel encouraged to participate.
“These cafés are not long-winded lectures with a passive audience listening to an expert,” says Fritz. “They are dynamic, two-way interactions between a scientist and an audience in which the participants feel empowered to learn and contribute insights, and the speaker gains valuable perspective on his or her work.”
Launched in July, “Science on the Hill” is held periodically at 6 p.m. at Landmark Americana Tap and Grill, located at 2481 54th Street on Saint Joseph’s campus. The event is free and includes appetizers and door prizes. Participants are asked to register.
The next SJU science café, “Microbes Attack! Nice Body… We’ll Take It,” will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 16, and features Brian Forster, Ph.D., a microbiologist and the laboratory coordinator for SJU’s General Education Program in the Natural Sciences. Two more evenings are being planned for later in the fall semester.