Thursday I had my first experience with a Science Cafe. I chatted with the folks in Annapolis about ice ages. Much fun!
The idea in a science cafe is to bring in a scientist to talk about his work -- a little, not a lecture, just enough to provide fodder for questions and discussion. And then field questions and encourage discussions about that area. My set piece was about 15 minutes, and 45 minutes for discussion after. The audience was excellent since they did start asking questions promptly and they were sincere questions. We met at a cafe, so I also had a chance to eat and have a beer first.
My wife and son enjoyed the event too. Though they've heard me go on about ice ages before, it was just such a good group engaging in the questioning and fitting ideas together.
If you have a chance to talk at one, do! If you have a chance to attend one, do that too. We'll be going, ourselves, whether I'm the main speaker or not.