Scientifique offers a unique opportunity for students to meet
working scientists in an informal, relaxed, ‘café’ atmosphere
and together explore contemporary issues in science and
technology. The cafes are
student-led, from choosing the topic
to running the café, giving those involved the chance to turn
concerns into participation, based on classroom experiences.
Cafes are open to all secondary schools: teachers and students, any age, any
status, any interests.
Cafe Scientifique in schools
(Junior Cafe Scientifique, or JCS) has developed from the
Cafe Scientifique movement - evening meetings between scientists and
public, which take place in bars, cafes, theatres and pubs
outside the academic environment.
place in cafeterias, common rooms or libraries, not classrooms; at lunchtime or after school, so that audience and speaker
meet as equals, without barriers.
The format is simple. The
scientist speaks for about 10-15 minutes; time enough to
introduce the topic and their interest in it, then the cafe is
open for questions and debate. The talks are deliberately kept
uncomplicated - no technology, just the powers of the spoken
word and low-tech demonstrations. Speakers are volunteers from
local universities and industry and range from professors to
young PhD students, depending on the topic and their expertise.