Cafe Scientifique

On the second Tuesday of each month, the Science Center of Iowa invites the community to join the conversation!

Café Scientifique is a FREE science-based program for adults and young adults. Each event begins with an introduction and background of the topic by the featured presenter and concludes with an open forum for questions and discussion.

"Café Sci" events are happening all over the world – with leaders in science and technology engaging audiences in discussion around meaningful and relevant topics in an informal setting.

Café Sci events take place on the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7:00 pm. Locations vary.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming Cafe Sci events:

  • March 14 - Cafe Scientifique - Radioactive Dishes: Art and the Atom
    Gilroy's, 1238 8th St, West Des Moines
    Peter Shellenberger, artist

    For artist Peter Shellengerber, radiation is his paint. His edgy, surreal photography process begins with radioactive dishware from the ‘30s and ‘40s. (Yep, you read that right.) At that time, the popular Fiestaware dishes featured a red-orange glaze that was made with uranium oxide, the same material used in the atomic bomb. Eighty-some years later, those dishes are still radioactive – and that’s where Shellenberger’s art comes in.

    Join SCI and Peter Shellenberger as we explore the intersection of history, science and art and see his incredible nuclear art.

  • April 11 - Coming soon!

  • May 9 - Coming soon!

  • June 13 - Café Scientifique: Subtle Stressors & Brain Breakdown
    Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
    Matthew Jefferson, Iowa State University neuroscience student

    Stress does more than disrupt your day — it may damage your brain over time. Over decades, the nervous system reacts to small stressors by slowing down, inhibiting everyday processes that can ultimately lead to Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. We quickly ascribe old age as the ultimate, inevitable cause, but these diseases aren’t spontaneous, and we can proactively prevent them through simple behavioral changes.

    Join us as we explore the basics of the nervous system and how to keep your brain cells healthy and happy as you age.

RSVP encouraged to

About Cafe Sci:

  • Events are free to the general public; Coffee, beverages or appetizers are usually available for purchase
  • Many events are held off-site at restaurants, cafes and other venues
  • No scientific background is necessary, just an interest in the topic at hand
  • All ages are welcome but content is geared for adults and young adults
  • Click here for a library of previous Cafe Sci events

Interested in presenting a topic or hosting an event? Inquire at or (515) 274-6868 ext. 234