Café Scientifique at the Summit today |

Café Scientifique at the Summit today


A “Café Scientifique at the Summit” will be inaugurated at the Backcountry Brewery in Frisco today at 6:30 p.m.Based on the French Café Philosophique, the idea of the Café Scientifique initially evolved in the UK, with its start at Leeds in 1998. The Café Scientifique provides a forum for people to gather in a friendly pub to hear an informal presentation on interesting scientific issues. The concept became so popular that Cafés are currently held in more than 30 cities in the UK, and have sprung up in several locales in the U.S. as well. In our region, regular Cafés have been held for the past three years in Denver at the Wynkoop Brewery, with recent extensions in Colorado Springs and Boulder.The “Café begins with a short talk by a scientist “in the know” on a subject of general interest. A sample of subjects presented and discussed in other Cafés include AIDS, the Big Bang, Darwinism, ecology, global warming, genetically modified organisms and biodiversity. Requests for subjects of local interest for future presentations will be invited from the participants. Audiences consist of people who are interested in science, but rarely have the opportunity to probe issues in more depth, or to engage in an open discussion with an “expert” and with fellow colleagues. No specific scientific knowledge is assumed by the speakers. The formal presentation is followed by an hour or so period of open questions and answers, providing an opportunity for each participant to probe relevant issues in greater detail, to express an opinion or introduce related topics for open discussion.There is no admission fee and a light snack and beverages of choice to carry into the conference room will be made available by the Backcountry Brewery.The inaugural speaker for tonight’s “Café Scientifique at the Summit” will be J. John Cohen, M. D., Professor of Immunology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Cohen was the prime organizer and continues as coordinator of the Denver-based Café Scientifique, and will serve as a consultant in efforts to plan future Cafés for the benefit of citizens of Summit County. His topic will be “It’s For the Birds,” a discussion of Bird Flu, with a brief reflection on its potential human impact, means of control and disease prevention. Other related respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS will also be briefly presented.

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