Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cafe Scientifique? Cafe Scientifique is a forum for the discussion of current work and interesting scientific issues. They are informal and accessible.
Who else will be there? Cafe audiences are people who are interested in science. Anyone can participate; speakers are there to be questioned and talk about their work at all levels.
What happens at a Cafe Scientifique? Cafes start with a short talk (usually about twenty minutes) by the speaker, to introduce the topic. After this there is usually a short break to allow glasses to be refilled and conversations to start. This is followed by an hour or so of questions and answers and general discussion. Anyone can ask a question, and we positively welcome those which begin "This might be a stupid question, but ..." These questions are invariably not stupid and often rather insightful.
Where and when? Cafes Scientifique are hosted in a range of venues. Most are in bars or cafes, but some use bookshops, theatres or community spaces. Cafes Scientifique are held regularly (e.g. the last Tuesday or the second Monday of the month) and take place in the evening. See our "Links" menu for details of other Cafe Scientifique meetings near Basingstoke.
What subjects will be discussed? Cafes Scientifiques cover a wide range of issues relating to science and technology. Since 1998, cafes have covered almost every conceivable scientific topic: AIDS, the Big Bang, biodiversity, cancer, code-breaking, consciousness, Darwinism, ecology, evolution, extreme life, foetal experience, genetically modified organisms, global warming, infertility, nanotechnology, the Public Understanding of Science movement, sports science, superconductors and more.
All Cafes Scientifique welcome suggestions from the audience about their programmes. If you want to find out more about a particular topic, go along to your local cafe and suggest it to the organisers.
Do I need to buy a ticket? Cafes are generally free and you can just turn up on the night. However, in some venues a small entry charge is made to cover venue costs. If any contributions towards the speaker's travel expenses or venue are expected, then this will generally be indicated in the event information. Such contributions are always voluntary.
Does Cafe Scientifique make a profit? Cafe Scientifique does not make a profit from events or pay fees to speakers. However speakers at Basingstoke Cafe Scientifique may receive travel expenses paid for by our sponsors the Thames Valley British Science Association.