Penn News lecture cafés illuminate hard and soft sciences

Penn Science Cafe

The Penn Science Café returns on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Graduate student Peter Yunker discusses “The Coffee Ring Effect: Silly-Sounding Research Goes a Long Way.”

The popular Penn Science Café lecture series returns this fall at a new time, in a new location and with a new sister series, the Penn Lightbulb Café.

Since 2005, the Penn Science Café has featured some of the University’s leading professors chatting about their research (without too much science jargon) in free public forums held at University City restaurants and taverns.

Just as the Science Café sheds light on the natural and hard sciences, the Lightbulb Café will illuminate the social sciences, including sociology, political science and economics. Talks on the arts and humanities will take center stage at the Café as well.

LightBulb Cafe

The inaugural Penn Lightbulb Café kicks off on Wednesday, Oct. 26. David Gibson, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, discusses “Conversational Syntax, Turn-Taking, and the Fate of the World during the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

 

Both the Science and Lightbulb cafés will be held monthly at 6 p.m. at the Pepper Mill Café on the second floor of the Penn Museum. Menu items, beer, wine and other beverages will be available for purchase.   

Each presentation will encourage audience members to engage Penn professors in informal conversation, including lively question-and-answer sessions.

The first Science Café of the Fall semester, scheduled for Wednesday Oct. 5, features Peter Yunker, a graduate student in the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter. Yunker will discuss “The Coffee Ring Effect: Silly-Sounding Research Goes a Long Way.”

A video about Yunker’s research was recently highlighted on the websites of National Public Radio, Discover Magazine and Wired magazine.

The inaugural Penn Lightbulb Café, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 26, will feature David Gibson, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, examining “Conversational Syntax, Turn-Taking, and the Fate of the World during the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Gibson has just completed a new book about the secret recordings of President Kennedy’s meetings with his advisors during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Fall semester schedules for both cafés will be posted on the Penn News webpage in the near future. RSVPs are encouraged. For more information, contact Gina Bryan at 215-898-8721 or email bryangm@pobox.upenn.edu.  

Originally published on September 22, 2011