Monday, February 19, 2018

The Rochester Science Cafe will be back next week as we kick off our Spring 2018 season.  On Tuesday, February 27, our speaker will be

Dr. John-David Rocha
Assistant Professor, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, RIT

Nanomaterials: scientific wonder or scientific fiction? 
Many would say the study of nanomaterials goes back approximately 30 years to the discovery of buckyballs, back in the mid-1980s.  Others argue we've been using nanomaterials for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  Regardless, the current generation of nanomaterials are often hailed from some quarters as things that will change our lives in energy, in medicine, and in environmental applications.  All the while, their use commercially in major projects has been significantly held back by a number of different issues. The question becomes: how, when, where ,and why will nanomaterials play a role in society and technology going forward?  Will they go by the wayside as a science fiction idea that never bore fruit or become a science reality powering all of the next-generation materials and technologies of the later 21st century, and on into the 22nd and beyond?  In this talk, I hope to explain about nanomaterals in general, and share insights from the academic, governmental, and industrial spheres about their many potential uses.

The talk: Tuesday, February 27 at 7pm
Location: Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble, 3349 Monroe Avenue, upstairs in the community room

For more on John-David's work, check out his website, or a podcast he did back in 2015.

Cheers, Josh
Upcoming Spring Cafes:

March 27: Dr. John Whelan (RIT): "The Science of Uncertainty"

For most of the twentieth century, probability was considered to apply only to inherently random, ideally repeatable experiments.  More recently, this classical "frequentist" formalism has been displaced by a more general "Bayesian" outlook that sees probabilities as a way to describe any incompleteness in our state of knowledge.  I will discuss how this view of statistical inference, empowered by the ability of computers to calculate the relevant probabilities numerically, informs our interpretation of a range of information, from prenatal screening, to election forecasting, to observations of gravitational waves.

April 24: Dr. Christy Tyler (RIT):  "Aquatic Ecosystem Ecology"

May 22: TBD

Sunday, January 21, 2018

January 2018 Cafe cancelled, will be rescheduled

Unfortunately, our speaker for Tuesday's Science Cafe has had to cancel at the last minute, and David and I agree it is too late to try to arrange a last-minute speaker.  We are going to cancel this Tuesday's cafe, and see if we can schedule him again at a later date.  Just to reassure everyone, we do plan to have cafes from February to May, this was a one-time last-minute cancellation outside our control.

Apologies for the last-minute notice, we'll have an announcement with the Spring lineup going out very soon.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fall 2017 Cafes announced -- our Ninth season!

Hi everyone, we are thrilled to announce that we will be returning this year for the ninth year (and counting!) of the Rochester Science Cafe. As always, we will be hosting cafes on the fourth Tuesday of the month, September -- November and January -- May. All talks will be at 7pm, at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave., upstairs in the Community Room. Everyone in the community is welcome, and the talks will be free to everyone, even including refreshments.

 Without further ado, Our Fall 2017 schedule is as follows:

  •  Sept. 26:   “Prospects for a Universal Flu Vaccine”
    Dr. John Treanor, M.D.
    Professor, Departments of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology
    University of Rochester Medical Center 

  •  October 24: “Scientific Challenges to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution”
    Dr. John Jaenike, Ph.D.
    Professor, Department of Biology
    University of Rochester 

  •  November 28: “Life after smartphones: the evolution of the human-information interface”
    Dr. Mark Bocko, Ph.D.
    Professor & Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Director – Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences
    University of Rochester 

  • January 23, 2018: “Dark Matter and Dark Energy: Where is 95% of the Universe?”
    Dr. Frank L.H. Wolfs, Ph.D.
    Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of Rochester

Spring 2018 Cafes will be announced later in the season. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Spring 2017 Science Cafes announced

With 2017 now here, the Rochester Science Cafe is happy to announce we have a packed Spring schedule of talks, with meetings every month from January until May. On Tuesday, we will kick off the spring series with:
January 24, 7pm, Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble Community Room (2nd floor) Dr. Danielle Benoit (UofR) "Nanomaterials for drug and cell delivery to promote tissue regeneration"

From her webpage:

Our lab works at the interface of medicine and engineering, with an emphasis on precisely controlling biomaterial functionality and architecture to treat diseases, control cell behavior, or answer fundamental biological questions. In particular, we are focusing on two avenues: synthetic hydrogels with tunable degradation and mechanical properties as a synthetic extracellular matrix analogue for the culture and delivery of cells for regenerative medicine approaches and polymers formed using reversible-addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT), a controlled, living polymerization strategy, designed with drug delivery applications in mind. Our overall hypothesis is that by using bottom-up approaches, we can design ‘smart’ materials with distinct capabilities, such as controlling cell behavior or overcoming delivery barriers.
In February, our speaker will be: Tuesday, February 28, 7pm Dr. Jeyhan Kartaltepe (RIT) "How Cosmic Collisions Shape the Universe"

And for the rest of the Spring:

Tuesday, March 28, 7pm
Dr. Lisa DeLouise (UofR)

Tuesday, April 25, 7pm
Dr. Matthew Hoffman (RIT)

Tuesday, May 23, 7pm
Dr. Jason Nordhaus (RIT)

As always, coffee and cookies will be provided. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fall 2016 series announced - Our eighth year!

Hi everyone,
   The Rochester Science Cafe will soon be starting its eighth year as Rochester's premier venue for free and open public discussion of science with leading researchers performing some of the most exciting work in the field today.  Even better, we are expanding!

For the first time, the Rochester Science Cafe is is very pleased to announce a new Saturday Series, with a focus on Women in Science, spanning everything from current advances in breast cancer care  toteaching students at the high school level.  This new series will run on the second Saturday of each month, at 2pm, as always at our standard location, the Community Room of the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble. Talks will continue to be free and open to the public, though we are particularly hoping that the Saturday time will make the new talk series more accessible for women, high school teachers and teenagers, as well as anyone who can't easily make our Tuesday night series.

Speaking of Tuesday nights, those will continue as well, with talks already lined up for September - November as well as January. For all of the talks, refreshments (as well as the sound system) will be provided, courtesy of the UofR Department of Biology's U-ROC Fund, which is always welcoming contributions.

Without further ado, the talk schedule:

  • Saturday, September 10, 2pm
    “How does noise damage hearing?”

    Dr. Patricia White, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
    University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry

  • Tuesday, September 27, 7pm
    “Peering into Earth using Earthquakes and Volcanoes”
  • Dr. Cynthia Ebinger, Ph.D.
    Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    University of Rochester

  • Saturday, October 8, 2pm
    “Using Technology to Boost Inquiry in the Science Classroom” 

    Dave Miller, MBA, Ed.D.
    Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Advisor - Online Teaching and Learning
    University of Rochester, Warner School of Education

    Jason McMurray, M.S.
    Teacher, Mentor and STAR Discovery Educator
    Eastridge High School, East Irondequoit Central School District

  • Tuesday, October 25, 7pm
    “Cancer Immunotherapy: Basic science to clinical success”

    Dr. John Frelinger, Ph.D.
    Department of Microbiology and Immunology
    Wilmot Cancer Institute
    University of Rochester Medical Center

  • Saturday, November 12, 2pm
    “Radiation Oncology – The Science of Breast Cancer Care”
    Dr. Marilyn Ling, M.D.
    Associate Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology
    Department of Radiation Oncology
    University of Rochester Medical Center

  • Tuesday, November 22, 7pm
    “Neurorestoration: Devices, Drugs, and Stem Cells”

    Dr. Bradford C. Berk, M.D. Ph.D.
    Distinguished University Professor in Medicine, Neurology,
    Pathology, and Pharmacology & Physiology
    Director, University of Rochester Neurorestoration Institute
    University of Rochester Medical Center

  • Tuesday, January 24, 7pm
    “Nanomaterials for drug and cell delivery to promote tissue regeneration”
    Dr. Danielle S.W. Benoit, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
    Center for Musculoskeletal Research
    Departments of Chemical Engineering
    University of Rochester

We look forward to seeing everyone there.  As always, to join our mailing list, please send an email to jafsma (the at symbol), and I'll be happy to add you.

Monday, May 23, 2016

May Science Cafe: 5/24, 7pm -- Dr. Kara Maki (RIT) -- "A Mathematician's Perspective on Dry Eye Disease"

Tomorrow, Tuesday May 24, the Rochester Science Cafe will be holding our final cafe of our Spring 2016 series. Please join us at 7pm at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble, upstairs in the community room, for:

Dr. Kara Maki
Asst. Professor, School of Mathematical Sciences +
Center for Applied and Computational Mathematics

"A Mathematician's Perspective on Dry Eye Disease"

Dry eye syndrome is recognized to be a collection of problems associated with an insufficient or malfunctioning tear film, which may include increased evaporation. Dry eye accounts for a high percentage of visits to ophthalmologists with an estimated 4.9 million cases of moderate to severe dry eye patients age 50 and older in the United States. To date, there is no cure. In this talk, I explain how the ocular and applied mathematics communities are working together to better understand the causes of dry eye.

For more info on her research, feel free to also check out her website.  

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. While our regular monthly cafes will take their usual summer break, we do plan to return in September to begin our eighth year as Rochester's pre-eminent venue for free public scientific discussions. There may also be some exciting new programs we begin, and we'll keep you informed as we go.

Friday, April 22, 2016

April Science Cafe: 4/26: Dr. Michael Zemcov (RIT): Measuring the Largest Structures in the Universe with the Smallest Telescopes in Space

The Rochester Science Cafe is pleased to remind you that our April Cafe will be this coming Tuesday, April 26, at 7pm in the Community Room of the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble. The speaker will be Dr. Michael Zemcov, from RIT's School of Physics and Astronomy/Center for Detectors. The talk:
Measuring the Largest Structures in the Universe with the Smallest Telescopes in Space

Observational astrophysics has always been driven by the race to build telescopes with larger and larger apertures. However, in cosmology (which is the study of the universe on the largest scales and most ancient times), telescopes with very small apertures can perform measurements as important as their larger siblings. In this talk, I will give a brief review of modern cosmological measurements and present examples of small, space-based experiments that are providing us unique views of the past, present and future of the universe.

For more on his research, including podcasts, papers and more, you may want to look at his website. In honor of Passover, we'll be providing macaroons in additional to the usual cookies.

Our Spring 2016 series will conclude in May with the following talk:

May 24: Dr. Kara Maki (RIT) -- A Mathematician's Perception on Dry Eye Disease

We'll resume in the Fall with another session of talks, and keep your eyes out for more exciting announcements about some new initiatives this summer.