Cafe Scientific, Southampton, UK

CANCELLED until further notice. For some unpredictable amount of time, but at least March to June 2020 , the Soton sci cafs are cancelled . June talk cancelled due to continuing risk aversion , real or perceived , to indoor gatherings , even if post-lockdown by then.

 Science Cafe talk - St Denys Community Centre

Latest update of this file 10 May, 2020
From February 2019 the UK based site/page at , is defunct and cannot be updated , the other site at continues. Note the change of venue since early 2018, change of dates to third tuesday of the month and change of times, from the previous venue. Corner of Priory Rd and Adelaide Rd opposite the Junction Inn (strict policy of no drinks to be brought over from the pub to the community centre), level access with no steps, large car park. Horseshoe Bridge is blocked to car access, to the centre, access off St Denys Rd and then Adelaide Rd. 200 metres from the Adelaide Rd side of St Denys railway station no steps if alighting from Platform 4 trains from Fareham and Portsmouth direction. If alighting on Platform 1 from Southampton Central to Eastleigh trains also no steps but the shortest route requires the gate on the south/city end of the station building to be open and a steepish hill to Horseshoe Bridge, to get to the community centre . If you arrive more than 20 minutes late and find the internal door has the electronic lock engaged , try knocking on the that door,qietly at first if you can see that the main hall door is open. Please take a seat from the rack , unfold , and place in a position staggered with respect to the seats in front of you and bear in mind the projector image is relatively low down. With this hall-hire structure there is no commercial element in requiring a break, unlike cafes and pubs, so Q&A will follow immediately after the talk and the end of the full session should not be much later than the previous structure. The hire period is to 22:15 so if Q&A does continue longer than usual, then no problem, there will be no guillotine to Q&A.

Monthly talks on a science subject
Future talks, usually the third Tuesday of the month.

The following may also be cancelled, unknown as of the update date of this page. Tuesday 21 July, 2020, Kerrianne Harrington , Soton Uni :Designing and making optical fibres and fibre based devices for practical applications , including hollow core fibres.

Some details on recent science cafe talks , including transcripts of talks and Q&A

Some details on science cafe talks of mid of 2019, including transcripts of talks and Q&A monitoring air-borne particulate matter (PM), Mathematics of Pricing , hybrid marine-diesel/electric propulsion systems, hearing loss
Some details on science cafe talks of start of 2019, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Air quality monitoring, The Future of Wireless Technology , The future in Video Games, Peatlands
Some details on science cafe talks of end of 2018, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Robotics, Solar Photo-Voltaic Power Station operation,
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of middle of 2018, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, Biomedical Imaging, contagious cancers of Tasmanian Devils, Hydrofoils, Antibody immunotherapy
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of start of 2018, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Highway maintainence, Roger Boscovich , positive money, Sea level Rise
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of end 2017, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Autonomous vehicles, Argo floats ,Did Neanderthals paint? , immune function
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of middle 2017, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Autonomous Robot Sailing, Bird Flight, Carbon Footprint of food , Prosthetic limbs
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2017, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Climate change ,railway wheel testing,Mathematics of Fractals, Cancer Research UK and the 100,000 Genomes Project, Autonomous Robot Sailing
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of end of 2016, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Gravitational Waves , The Origin of Species, Satellites to monitor sea levels, 100,000 Genomes Project
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of mid 2016, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Antibiotic resistance & Associated Issues, Geophysical techniques in archaeology,
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2016, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Why study Acoustics?, ship archaeology, from Pythagoras to Big Data, railway track engineering, yacht design, lab on chip
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of late 2015, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Particle physics theory using symmetries, archeology of human bones, Ocean Currents
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of mid 2015, including transcripts of talks and Q&A 3D Printing, Edward Jenner and the Smallpox virus, The Sanity of Madness: An insight into psychosis for the layman, optimal flight plans for satellites,
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2015, including transcripts of talks and Q&A liquid crystal devices, architectural Mathematical Tiles, Industrial Archaeology and Twyford Waterworks, Planet Ocean, Neutron stars
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of end 2014, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Herbs & the History of Medicine, quantum gravity
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of mid 2014, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Edible Insects, Copper for antimicrobial hygenic surfaces, e to the i Pi plus 1 = 0 Euler's formula, Alzheimer's disease
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2014, including transcripts of talks and Q&A The Art of Holography, Supercomputing with multiple Raspberry Pi, Dark Matter, Is the Earth alive? A planetary odyssey, Deep drilling to the Earth's mantle
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of late 2013, including transcripts of talks and Q&A cochlea implants, What do my genes say about me
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of mid 2013, including transcripts of talks and Q&A What happens when we run out of oil, Crystallography, Geological Time, the brain and the eye, Active Noise Cancellation, Fermat's last theorem,
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2013, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Digital Signal Processing, DNA nanotechnology, solar photovoltaic generation, optogenetics, What happens when we run out of oil, Crystallography
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of end 2012, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of mid 2012, including transcripts of talks and Q&A The Enigma Machine, Peak phosphorous, Conservation of Historic Textiles, Atmospheric refractive index, super fast DNA testing,
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2012, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Phantom Traffic Jams, electric cars, European Supergrid, science- distribution of knowledge , marine archaeology
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of later 2011, including transcripts of talks and Q&A fossils, Large Hadron Collider, physics of music, Epigenetics,
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2011, including transcripts of talks and Q&A Fusion research, lichen, cosmic microwave background, sea surface waves, nuclear energy, Philosophy of Science, misunderstandings surrounding Einstein
Some details on past SWA science cafe talks in 2010 , including transcripts of talks and Q&A Lead-free solder,food flavouring,archaeological dowsing, archaeological recording, pathology, human evolution

Google keyword scicafsoton should get there.
Email me if you could give a talk or wish to be included on the email circulation list, or links to one-off local public scientific talks, local open days, academic post climate-gate "outreach" , public engagement etc. Email addresses only, names not necessary. That list only to be used for circulating a week before and day before of any meeting, and no other purpose . Southampton Cafe Scientifique most recent update will appear on the 4mg hosting site. Unfortunately excessive ads etc on that 4mg Freeservers freesite and due to too many people accessing the site and so exceeding 1GByte bandwidth allowance per month, it may disappear for a while, returning about midday UK time on the 25th of the month. Some hosts are not alowing remote linking now , so to view a "forbidden" picture you have to right click on the mouse and select "view".
A simple colour poster for anyone willing to print-off , minus updated text overlay , for these talks available here.
Southampton Science Cafe Poster
I'm aware that part of the concept of a Southampton Sci Caf was that it had to be off university campus, as deemed to deter ordinary mortals. The original Soton Science Caf Soton Sci Caf , (now ceased , held at Harbour Lights, then Borders Bookshop, then the Soul Cellar), then the Southwestern Arms, St Denys .

Up to 19 May, 2018 , the times of return and incoming suitable trains from/to St Denys Railway Station on a weekday , in the 4 main directions : -
To Bournemouth 21:30 from St Denys via change at Southampton Central 21:42 (outgoing from Bournemouth 18.45 for 19.13 change at Southampton Central 19:35 to St Denys at 19:40, 10 minutes late though)
Romsey 21.30 (outgoing from Romsey 19.07 for 19.30 at St Denys )
Portsmouth, 21.49 or 22:49 (suitable outgoing from Portsmouth central 18.38 for 19.31 St Denys)
Winchester ,21:40 change at Airport (suitable outgoing from Winchester 19.05 for 19.26 at St Denys)

I have read Guide to running a Sci Caf and I endorse all the info there. I would say that maybe the questions and answers are more important than the talk, allowing non technical people or scientists out of their field to ask questions . Often the Q&A are longer duration than the talk. And unlike the academic environment there is not the peer pressure making people reluctant to ask questions that they feel may be perceived as being stupid by their peers, and normally no rigid time constraint. Unlike cafes and public halls which are usually available or hired for a specific time slot, pubs would still be open after any talk and discussion can contiue if there is the interest.
July 2010 was the first scicaf at the SWA and 05 July 2010 the national organiser of the Cafe Scientifique movement added this link from the Sci Caf national site to this site.
I've been to the Salisbury Sci Caf and talked to one of their organisers. On that night I counted 120 people , a low turnout, as it transpired. A large arts centre converted church, requiring a wireless mike to ask questions and full public address for the speakers. From her , one paramount requirement , is an email circulation list. Summer 2010 Salisbury Sci Caf has been priced out of hiring the arts centre any more, quintupling of the fees. The fee for the Salisbury Rugby Club hall, Hudson's Field, Castle St , Salisbury, is 100 GBP (as would not be open otherwise, unlike pubs or some cafes)
Romsey Sci Caf , last thursday of the month
Salisbury Sci Caf , tuesdays
Portsmouth Sci Caf , tuesdays
Isle of Wight Sci Caf , mondays
Winchester Sci Caf, first monday of the month
Bournemouth Sci Caf, tuesdays
Input to my video projector , 15 pin Computer SVGA is the usual cross-link, as long as this type of connector on the laptop SVGA socket , no USB port. An Apple laptop would need an adaptor to SVGA for an external monitor feed, at least three types of these with different plugs, let alone anything else. Or a feed via "USB" style of HDMI connector. If no 15 pin VGA external monitor output, then I do have a USB to VGA adaptor but requires a driver put on the laptop and may have problems showing videos. Important note if using my laptop then your powerpoint must be a .ppt file, not .pptx. I prefer the speaker to use their own laptop providing there is 15 pin SVGA socket on the back or "USB" style HDMI. Then you know any video will play and sometimes a query emerges that there is precise info/graphs etc elsewhere on their pc. A tip for other organisers using projectors and limited area of placement. Usually there is a rear projection option in the menu settings, use a mirror to reflect the image back over the projector, unfortunately needs to be at least A4 size to clear the top of the projector. Mount on a gooseneck for playing around with angles and a couple of large adjustment screws either side to anchor down a bit better. To activate external monitor - right-click somewhere on the desktop and select properties or screen resolution. On laptop to projector hook-up if one side of the image is missing but projection of the laptop desktop is full width, select "mirroring" in the Powerpoint settings/options area. If "external monitor"/duplicate fails to output video output to a projector, some laptops need a mains power supply connected maybe due to low internal battery energy. For Dell pc toggle between internal and external using Blue Fn + CRT/LCD. The 3 or 4 options are toggled through, requiring 5 seconds or so between options and about 10 seconds to activate. Dell options are internal only, external only, both showing same, both showing different images for split screen use. If using Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer and it fails to respond to Esc and CTRL-F4 , displays on laptop , but fails to work on the projector as unable to get full screen or even failure to sync the picture then probably incompatible file type/operating system/created on wrong OS. Not able to project as full screen image, select Presenter mode and not Normal. Notebook pc , ie with wide format high res screens, output 4x3 format, low resolution via SVGA despite high resolution powerpoints etc. Basic laser pointer available or low tech telescopic aerial pointer. Access to overhead projector and Kodak Ektapro 3000 , carousel slide projector , and a small public address amplifier , if required. Possibility of video camera to projector setup for epidiascope fashion or USB macro/microscopic projection. It would be possible for a DVD based slideshow/ presentation to be outputed to the video projector via a small DVD player, in theory. I particularly would like to find a speaker on crop science genetics/biology/ chemistry. If a speaker has just pics and a small amount of text and can put them on a thumbstick and/or CDrom and arrange to turn up a 1/2 hour early I could make into an on-the-fly powerpoint file. A lot of science cafes cease during academic vacations. I intend carrying these Southampton ones throughout the year. I would be interested to hear from anyone attending conferences/visiting in south Hamphire who could arm themself with a thumbstick or a few notes. Likewise any undergraduates or specialist technicians who could give a talk of some sort.
Some other SciCaf related sites , recommended panel of speakers (password required, cursor hovering over "details" column then ident number greater than 27 is year 2010 entries and later ascending chronologically). Also the Yahoo group for organisers
Scheduling also requires checking for clashes against televised major sporting events etc via calendars such as , . Another consideration I came across with someone else's talks organisation or not, as a speaker failed to turn up. If a speaker is organised as much as a year before, firstly to agree dates etc and have 2-way confirmation and acknowlegement of the main matters. Then probably sensible to make some sort of comunication a week or 2 before the arranged date, to swap phone numbers/ clarify talk details/technical requirements in case of problems of computer synchronisation or failures to update paper diaries, to act as a reminder.

Some comments I've received so far
from JE
Mention , in links, "skeptics in the pub" (in list below). If a local offshoot developed , he would not have to go to London. Also consider the concept of webcasting . From my limited experience Q&A would not work as well as in a live environment and there may be copyright or even defamation pitfalls.
From IH
Consider contacting IBM, Hursely for inclusion in their internal bulletin. If he gets some more info , I may well do so.
From JG
It is good to hear that you are thinking of starting up another Café Sci. However, if I were you I would avoid posing it as an alternative to the existing one or a contingency plan "should the original one fail". I'm sure Southampton is big enough to have two or more cafes runnning simultaneously; there are already multiple cafes in Leeds and Bristol, and probably other places too - since Café Sci needs to be small to work, the only way of responding to an increased demand is to open a second one - holding one café in a room big enough for 200 people would just destroy the atmosphere. We at Brighton are constantly full to overflowing, and are looking to find a slightly bigger venue, but the ideal solution would be for someone (not me!) to start a second one. So I wish you luck. I have been to a few of the Southampton Cafes and have found it a little frustrating that the oganisation seems so intermittent. I always book our speakers up many months in advance - in fact to get the best ones, you have to - and find it hard to understand how a café can function on such a "last-minute" basis. I also think a pub function room would be better than the Soul Cellar - on one occasion when I was there the speaker had to give up because of the excessive noise coming from the sound system downstairs, even though there were hardly any customers in the bar, but about 30 of us upstairs! Whay don't you try and contact the existing organiser and try and work with him/her? (I forget who it is currently). I am sure he/she will welcome a new venture like yours and it will stop any "bad blood" situation from developing. Anyway, good luck again. Keep me on the list - I do not get over there much but will try.
Reply - I'd only seen one sci cafe represented, per town /city, on the national sci caf site , and only looked in detail at the local group and not realised that some were subdivided, so more than one in a town. As for the Soul Cellar I found the noisey patrons hanging around in the foyer more intrusive. I note your use of the word speaker and perhaps I will start using it instead of lecturer as it may be off-putting. Is there a suitable low-key word for lecture, as well ?
From GO
He uses the term "lead-off" for this concept of short introductory talk before a longer discussion on that topic. So perhaps the term lead-off talk is preferable to the word lecture.
From CS
I wish you every success in setting up Southampton Science Cafe ( Shadow ) We may add you meetings to HASSNERS Meetup: when you get up and running.
From NB
I would be keen to be involved and would be willing to talk. I am currently a lecturer in Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton University but am conceited enough to want to talk on subjects on which I am not an expert.
From JB
I really appreciate the work that you're doing to set up science cafe II. I get the feeling that the organisers are running out of steam ... If you ever need a hand with any event I'd be only to happy to oblige. It would be nice to have the talks in quieter place, like The South Western Arms, which is a good choice. That soul Cellar is too noisy at 8pm. I did suggest to the organisers that the Central Art Gallery has a lecture Theatre nearby or even the fountain cafe, well At least it doesn't have massive bass bins next door. I actually was looking for information about historical flooding in Southampton and saw you had done a lot of work on flooding in St Denys ...
From JE
Your talk on leaded vs lead-free solder was interesting and I think the SW Arms is a good venue for a small audience
From SR
I enjoyed the talk by Ian Bryant and would like to go on your mailing list please.
From a Soton Sci Caf speaker
A magnificent job in typing the transcript. Fascinating/terrifying to hear how I ramble on. I'm sure my teaching has improved from giving the talk. Thanks for having me.
From TB
I very much enjoyed Dr Deborah Mackay's talk on epigenetics last month. If possible could you send me the URL on the comparitive sizes of viruses, molecules etc. she showed in her presentation?

Best comment so far, overheard from 3 bods in front of one of my posters
One bod , (before I started adding a QR), taking a cell-phone pic of the poster and another one saying to the others. "Well I may as well come along to it (the scicaf talk) as it must be better than staying at home and watching Coronation Street ".
From GM
I went to the talk last evening at the Southwestern Arms ... (Dr David Hooper, atmospheric refraction) ... I thoroughly enjoyed the talk myself
From RW
What an interesting speaker (Phil Bartlett, nano-scale structured metal surfaces and SERS) and such a fascinating topic, he seemed to relish the barrage of questions. I see you have an intriguing set of topics coming up in the future, and a convivial environment for such talks .
From MB
Fantastic choice of subjects Thanks
From SG
Could I be added to the Cafe Scientifique email circulation list? I attend the (local) group meetings but the subjects are not usually as appealing as the Southampton ones.
From JB
... the chance to ask embarrassing questions and drink seems attractive...
From JB
Just to say thank you for running the sci cafe talks for the past eight years. There were many varied and interesting talks you arranged and I enjoyed them all. The venue did get too noisy at times in the later years, but at least it was free. The asking question session was always a plus point of the sci cafe which is an experience you just can't get with on-line media delivery.
From TS
J and I have been coming from Newbury for the last year and we would like to say a big thankyou for all of your efforts. It was a great location, great speakers and so very informative.
from JN
Enormous respect for what you continue to do with SciCaf, but would you mind taking me off the mailing list when you get a minute please? I've recently left Southampton for Turkey.

Links for similar events

The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver interesting, fun, relevant talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public – all in the pub!
Skeptics in the Pub
Researchers' Cafe - Listen, sip, discuss.
Winchester alternating sciences/humanities talks Discovery lectures series, last monday of the month. If they cannot be bothered setting up a fixed URL for this series, I can't be bothered updating this cross-reference
Green Drinks - environmental informal sessions in a bar
Philosophy in Pubs (nearest Havant)
Philosophy Cafes , Soton uni
HASSNERS are Humanist - Atheist - Scientific - Secularist - Naturalistic - Ethical - Rationalist - Sceptics In Bournemouth, Southampton and London
Humanist talks
Monthly archaeology talks - Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum
Informal science community , allowing everyone to participate in science through talks, questions, exploration and discussion
National listing of lectures open to the public
Aggregator: Regular science oriented events posted by Southampton Discovery
Portsmouth MathsJam is for like-minded self-confessed maths enthusiasts
MathsJam / Southampton ( tentative) contact Maureen ,landlady of the Bent Brief pub, Lodge Road / and Adrian looking into that possibility
Institute of Physics talks, central south region
Institution of Civil Engineers talks
Hampshire Industrial Archaeology talks
University of the Third Age, Southampton
Probus, talks tending to be on an industrial/commercial theme, Botley
Talks and lectures for women locally
Science, would you like quips with that ? -Bright Club, Southampton
"green" technical talks , at The Art House, Southampton , no known specific fixed link
Romsey, Second Fridays, science+business crossover-networking
Southampton Tech group - playing with and talking about technology etc
Southampton , So Make It, hackerspace : Learning and doing hands-on stuff using their 3D printer etc
Men's Shed, group of enthusiasts who have workshop facilities
Botley Retro Computer Club, group of computer enthusiasts who like vintage computers
Presentations of 20 images x 20 seconds. so far based in London, Chelmsford, Guildford, Southend-on-Sea, Brighton, Chichester, Oxford , Coventry
Talks about the New Forest , Lyndhurst
Subset of whats-on nationally, searchable by postcode
Activities for youngsters in Southampton
Soton Uni open lectures

The Echo used to carry a weekly listing of open days coming up. Fascinating to visit Fawley power station , Philips electronics facility at Millbrook, Marchwood military port etc. Does anyone know if there is still a listing in the local paper ?
Some not exactly public lecture series, I've never been refused entry as a non-member, but organisers and criteria change etc
Electronics lectures
Royal TV Society
Geology talks, Wyvern Technology College,Fair Oak, Eastleigh
Royal Aeronautical Society Solent Branch lectures
Soton Astronomy
Wessex Round Table of Inventors
Amateur radio clubs have regular talks
Chandlers Ford radio club
Hythe radio club
Local History talks etc
Local history talks etc
National Heritage Weekend , each year

Some other links to fairly local centres with scientific or technical aspects
Time Machine Fun Centre
Museum of English Rural Life
Southampton Music Hub
Rural Life Centre, Farnham, Surrey
The Ancient Technology Centre, Wimbourne
REME Museum of Technology, Arborfield , Reading
The Engineerium , Hove, Sussex sometimes open days until reopening proper
Science Museum at Wroughton
South Downs Planetarium
Electrical Museum ,Old Power Station at Christchurch
Toothill astronomical observatory
Whitchurch Silk Mill, Whitchurch, Hampshire
Lee-on-Solent Hovercraft Museum
Winchester INTECH Science Centre and Planetarium
Bletchley Park Museum complex, a day is not long enough to explore it all
Amberley Industrial history / historic buildings / working exhibits
National science weeks etc
National Science Week
National Pathology Week
biennial British Neuroscience Association , Festival of Neuroscience with public lectures and events

This page was on until that hosting company shut up shop. And on up to October 2014, when they restricted FTP access to Orange/EE users only and fully expired August 2016.
Contact name: Nigel Cook
Number of valid email addresses in the circulation list as of the above edition date : 234 . Email addresses only, no names required, just for updates of these scicafs and for no other purpose. 6 email addresses remaining from 2010 expunged from this email list May 2018 , as they were transfered from another local scicaf list .

e-mail  email address ( for anti-spamming reasons please remove all 5 dots ..... between co and m )
Plain text only (see below)

A reserve email account is scicafsoton(commercial at) Please make emails plain text only , no more than 5KByte or 500 words. Anyone sending larger texts or attachments such as digital signatures, pictures etc will have them automatically deleted on the server. I will be totally unaware of this, all your email will be deleted - sorry, again blame the spammers.

keyword for searchengines , scicafshadow, scicafsoton, Southampton Science Café, Café Scientifique, scicaf, scicaf1, scicaf2 , free talks, open talks, free lectures, open lectures , , , , , , , , , , , , ,