Each year, The Science Center hosts six Science Cafés free to the public, three taking place in the spring and three in the fall. Through our relationship with Southern Illinois University Carbondale, we have access to scientists and researchers from various fields of study. Each month one such individual presents new findings in his or her area of expertise. From geology to archaeology, marketing to neuroscience, Science Cafés have something to offer everyone.
Science Cafés are held on Thursdays at 7pm. Come early for free coffee and conversation. For more information, call or stop by the Science Center today!
September 27th at 7:00 pm: Beverly Shofstall, Wildlife Rehabilitation: “Wildlife Rehabilitation: From Bunny Huggers to Biologists.”
In the not-so-distant past helping wild animals in distress was deemed silly, but in the last 50 years attitudes regarding wildlife have changed. The response to this rising interest in the environment and the fauna that inhibit it is wildlife rehabilitation and the science that accompanies it.
New medical and nutritional information are constantly being discovered, and animals are adapting to a changing environment. The role of rehabilitation is to keep abreast of all this information and utilize it to get these animals back into the wild.
Come learn more about this relatively new profession and the science involved in the care and return of non-pet species to their natural habitats.
October 25th at 7:00 pm: John Martinko,Microbiology SUIC: “1918 influenza: The Deadliest Pandemic of All Time?”
We are exactly 100 years away from the greatest recorded pandemic in human history, the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. Questions remain about this deadly disease. What separated this influenza from the common annual influenza we all know? Why did it kill so many people? Why did it disproportionately target young, strong individuals as well as the usual very young and very old victims? Given the potential for new influenza and other infectious disease threats of this magnitude and severity, who monitors these threats? Are there preventative measures and cures in place? How can we best protect ourselves individually and collectively? Are we prepared to deal with infectious disease outbreaks at the local level and beyond?
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, by John M. Barry
The End of Epidemics: the Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It, by Jonathan D. Quick
The Next Pandemic, Smithsonian magazine, November 2017 (available online)
Contagion, 2011 movie
November 15th at 7:00 pm: Keith Gagnon Biochemistry and Molecular Biology SIUC: Back to the Future: “From Understanding to Engineering the Human Genome”.
The romantic idea of understanding what makes us human was embodied in the endeavor to sequence the human genome. However, when it was completed in 2003 we were quickly reminded that we are more than a catalog of genes. Since then we have slowly begun to unravel how our genes fit into the human story. But now, recent discoveries have made futuristic human genome engineering seem like a future reality. How did we suddenly go from understanding to engineering the human genome? We will attempt to demystify the science behind the discoveries, discuss the hope of treating terrible diseases, and address our ethical responsibilities.
The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddartha Mukherjee
The Mysterious World of the Human Genome, by Frank Ryan
A Crack in Creation, by Jennifer Doudna and Samuel Sternberg
****Please note: Well behaved children are always welcome at Science Cafe’, however all museum exhibits will be closed.****