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Café Scientifique

Café Scientifique Manchester

Cafe Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place in cafes, bars, restaurants and even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context.

Cafe Scientifique is a forum for debating science issues, not a shop window for science. We are committed to promoting public engagement with science and to making science accountable.

Where: Kro Bar on Oxford Road

When: 6pm on the last Thursday of every month (from October 2014)

Calendar of events

If you wish to receive email reminders of our events, please join our mailing list.


Date 29 January 2015
Title How the Extra-ordinary Informs the Ordinary
Speaker Dr Simon Harper

Talking computers are vital if you're a blind computer user. Blind people become expert in auditory cognition and interaction. This expertise has transferred to the digital tools used to access computers, mobiles and other devices. Indeed, when it comes to technology usage blind people have become uber users - expert in digital interaction enabling increasingly meaningful interaction with tools and services in everyday life, work and study.

In doing so, blind users often find ways around badly developed electronic devices and resources, providing insights and challenges for designers and developers.

This talk will give insights into these extra ordinary digital tools and the people who use them, discussing how neurophysiology points the way to enhanced auditory comprehension, and discusses how 'auditory display' is helpful to everyone... how this extra-ordinary interaction informs the ordinary.

Date 26 February 2015
Title The Evolution of Monogamy
Speaker Dr Susanne Shultz

Primates are unusual mammals, with around 25% of the species found in monogamous family groups. In contrast, across all mammals,  monogamy is much rarer, with an estimated 3% of mammals being monogamy.  This compares with monogamy in more than 90% of bird species. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of monogamy, including its role in protecting females and their offspring from unrelated males. I will review our recent work on the topic and compare it to contrasting results simultaneously published by other researchers. Finally, I will propose how the evolution of monogamy in primates may or may not shed light on the human evolution.

Date 26 March 2015
Title Facing Up to the Truth
Speaker Dr Gayle Brewer

Despite being encouraged not to ‘judge a book by its cover’, we often form opinions of other people based on their appearance, and person perception forms an integral part of social interaction. Research suggests that we are able to accurately rate a person’s personality or other important characteristics (e.g. sexual orientation) based on physical appearance alone. This occurs when we have access to relatively limited information such as when viewing static facial photographs or even when observing other species. Particular aspects of our appearance e.g. facial symmetry and teeth may be especially informative and reveal specific information about our past. Furthermore, our physical appearance influences our behaviour, with recent research suggesting that hip width predicts women’s sexual behaviour. Join this session as Dr Gayle Brewer discusses the information revealed by our appearance and how our bodies influence our behaviour.

Organisers: Deborah Talmi, Bo Yao

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