Monday, September 24, 2018

On behalf of the Rochester Science Cafe organizers, we are happy to announce the Fall 2019 Science Cafe speaker lineup, as we mark our 10th year of operations. Back in September of 2009, little did we know how much of a fixture this would become for all of us, and hopefully how much we have been able to bring to all of you. In that spirit, here are our speakers and dates for Fall 2018/January 2019. As always, all talks will take place at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble, upstairs in the community room, on the fourth Tuesday of the month, 7pm. Cookies, coffee, conversation! We look forward to seeing everyone there!

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September 25

“HIV/AIDS in 2018: Progress & Persisting Challenges”
Dr. Michael Keefer, M.D.

Professor in Medicine
School of Medicine and Dentistry
University of Rochester Medical Center


Dr. Keefer's Research page: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/profiles/display/137236

Bio: Dr. Keefer has over 18 years of experience in the preventive HIV vaccine field, having served as Director of the University of Rochester's NIH-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (HVTU) since 1991. Working initially as a laboratory investigator he was the first to demonstrate T-cell mediated immune responses to a candidate HIV vaccine. Subsequently he focused his attention on the design and conduct of clinical trials. When the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) expanded to include international sites in 1999, he assumed the position of the HVTN's Associate Director of Scientific Administration. In that role his duties include leadership of scientific and administrative committees and visits to international sites. Dr Keefer is also PI of an NIH-funded Program Project entitled "HSV-1 amplicon vectors for HIV vaccine delivery", a collaboration with Drs. Dewhurst, Mosmann, Federoff and Bowers.

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Upcoming Cafes:

October 23 
 ““What?” How Hearing Loss Affects Speech Perception”
Dr. Laurel Carney, Ph.D.

Marylou Ingram Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of Rochester


November 27
 “Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth” 
Dr. Adam Frank, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics and Astronomy
University of Rochester


January 22
 “Oceans and Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Gusher to Gas Gobbler”
Dr. John Kessler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Rochester

Monday, May 21, 2018

May Science Cafe: 5/22, 7pm -- Dr. Andrew Robinson (RIT) -- "Monsters on the Move: searching for gravitationally recoiling supermassive black holes in “nearby” galaxies"

Please join us tomorrow night, May 22, at 7pm for our final Science Cafe of our ninth year. As always, the talk will be at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble, upstairs in the community room. The talk will be:


Monsters on the Move: searching for gravitationally recoiling supermassive black holes in “nearby” galaxies


Dr. Andrew Robinson
School of Physics and Astronomy
RIT


We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Monday, April 23, 2018

April Science Cafe -- Dr. Christy Tyler (RIT) -- "Rethinking ecosystem restoration in a changing environment"

Please come join us tomorrow (April 24) as we will present our April Science cafe, 7pm as always at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble (3349 Monroe Ave) Upstairs in the community room. This month's talk will be:

Rethinking ecosystem restoration in a changing environment
Dr. Christy Tyler
Associate Professor, Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
Director, Graduate Programs in Environmental Science
Rochester Institute of Technology


The functioning of natural ecosystems is controlled by complex interactions between living and non-living components of the ecosystem. These interactions can be very difficult to replicate when trying to restore, or create anew, an ecosystem on land previously used for another purpose. Contemporary ecosystem restoration is further complicated by our changing environment: the species of plants and animals in our region has changed, nutrients are more plentiful, the weather is more extreme, and the overall climate is changing. Successful projects thus require an understanding of legacy conditions, shifting environmental constraints, and a toolkit of restoration techniques that promote the development of a healthy ecosystem. In this talk, I’ll describe my experiences with wetland restoration and how our changing environment has forced us to rethink the process of restoration and our expectations of what’s possible.

For more on her work, check out the website for the Tyler Aquatic Ecology Lab.


On May 22, we will close the 2017-8 season with a talk by Dr. Andrew Robinson, Associate Head of RIT's School of Physics and Astronomy, and former Program director of the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology.

Monday, March 26, 2018

March Science Cafe: 3/27, 7pm: Dr. John Whelan (RIT) -- "The Science of Uncertainty"

Hello everyone, the Rochester Science Cafe's March talk will be tomorrow, Tuesday, March 27, 7pm, in our regular location in the Community Room upstairs at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble. Our speaker will be

Dr. John Whelan
Assistant Professor, School of Mathematical Sciences,
Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation
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.

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


For more on John's work, check out his website, http://ccrg.rit.edu/~whelan/ or a story from RIT about the recent LIGO detections: https://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=64318
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Upcoming Spring Cafes:


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


May 22: TBD

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
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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!