A happy hour forum for science and culture, Cafés offer a unique experience for adults to explore our world from distinct and surprising viewpoints—drawing connections between scientific research, culture, environment and everyday life. Enjoy lively talks on a variety of topics led by guest speakers from the University of Minnesota and beyond along with the atmosphere of the Bryant Lake Bowl theater in Minneapolis.
7 pm (doors at 6 pm)
Tickets $5-$12, available online or at the door
April 18: Crocodilian Superdads: Gharial on the Chambal River in north India
In India, people and wildlife live together, side-by-side, and have for thousands of years. Conservation biologist Dr. Jeff Lang (UMN Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology) has traveled to rugged, “bandit” country in north India since 2008 to investigate the secret lives of gharial. This crocodilian species is a specialized fish-eater, growing to 18+ feet in length, that is critically endangered, but survives today by moving hundreds of miles each year with the monsoon, up and down large rivers. Jeff’s recent work is revealing that gharials show extraordinary care for their young, guarding hundreds of hatchlings from predators, and exhibit complex social behaviors, not known in other reptiles. His talk will feature video clips of gharial behaviors, and highlight the challenges and adventures of working and living with wildlife and people in modern-day India. (Image via Wikimedia Commons, Kiranparamesh)
May 16: Bringing Biology to Biomimetics
The field of biomimetics seeks to solve problems from energy production to cancer by looking to how organisms have solved similar problems over evolutionary time. But the majority of engineers, material scientists and others using these approaches do not directly collaborate with biologists. We have barely scratched the surface of biological inspiration, and in order to use this approach more powerfully, we need to dive deeper into biological diversity.
September 20, 2016: The Dazzling Dr. Spilhaus
Sharon Moen, Communications Coordinator, Minnesota Sea Grant & author of "With Tomorrow in Mind: How Athelstan Spilhaus Turned America Toward the Future"
October 18, 2016: The Fungi Around Us
Kat Sweeney, Researcher, UMN Department of Plant Pathology
November 15, 2016: What Should a Clever Moose Eat?
Dr. John Pastor, Ecosystem Ecologist, UMN-Duluth Department of Biology
December 20, 2016: Moving Minnesota: Reinventing the Bell Museum Dioramas
Don Luce, Curator of Exhibits, Bell Museum of Natural History
January 17, 2017: The Beautiful Problem of Turbulence
Sam Stewart, Ph.D. student, UMN Department of Mathematics
February 21: Forest Keepers: Science, Spirituality & Conservation among the Batak Tribe
J. Scott Dodds, award-winning ethnographic filmmaker
March 21: Hunting Knowledge and Gathering Herbs: Rastafari Bush Doctors in South Africa
Lisa Aston Philander, Curator of the College of Biological Sciences Conservatory & Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Biology