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10-18-2012

England's Old Science Cafes at Clarkson University Science Cafe

"England's Old Science Cafes" will be discussed by Clarkson University History of Science Instructor Karen Buckle at the Science Cafe on Tuesday, October 30, at 7:15 p.m. in the Park View Common Room, above the Blackbird Cafe, 107 Main St. in Canton, N.Y.; and on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:15 p.m. in the Potsdam Civic Center Community Room in Potsdam, N.Y.

Karen BuckleIn the early 18th century, English people went to public science lectures to witness the chemical bangs, flashes and electrical sparks formerly available only to elite men of science. But, like today, the 18th century had its share of “science deniers,” who denounced the events as an immoral pursuit of empty entertainment.

Join Buckle as she revisits this fascinating world of England’s old “Science Cafes,” and ponders how the audience could tell whether these public talks imparted real knowledge, or whether they were quackery, as detractors would have it. Did it matter if they could? And why should we care about it today?

Science Cafes bring together engineers, scientists and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion.

Find out more about Clarkson's Science Cafe at http://www.clarkson.edu/sciencecafe.

E-mail Daniel ben-Avraham at ScienceCafe@clarkson.edu with any questions or suggestions for future Science Cafe topics.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/kbuckle.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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