My Café Scientifique project brings academics and the public together in an informal setting. It has been a revelation

Twenty years ago, Café Scientifique was born, borrowing from the French tradition of café philosophiques, where challenging ideas are discussed in the informal setting of a cafe or bar. That it’s still going is testament to just how much public interest academic work can have if it’s presented in an accessible way.

When I started Café Scientifique with Duncan Dallas, a science television producer, we wanted to create evenings which were a bit like going to the theatre or a comedy gig, truly making science part of popular culture. But we also wanted to get people to ask challenging questions of all these scientists, medics and engineers, democratising the world of research.

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