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:

  • February 9 - The Roots of Racism: Where Science and History Intersect
    Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
    Presenter: Karen Leroux, Associate Professor of History, Drake University

    Was it always this way? The association of skin color and race is a surprisingly modern development. Colonialism and early science shaped the way Americans understood skin color, creating a new definition of race — one that persists today.

    Join us to learn how earlier generations understood race, how scientists contributed to changing the meanings attached to race and whether history suggests we can change how we think about race. 

  • March 8 - Details TBD

  • April 12 - Green Flag: Racing's Eco-Friendly Future
    Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Parkway
    Presenter: Dr. Michael Lynch, NASCAR Vice President of Green Innovation and STEM Platforms

    Putting the pedal to the metal isn’t always kind to our planet, but NASCAR is forging a green future by developing cars, tracks and facilities with eco-friendly technology and design.

    Join us as we explore one of the largest sustainability programs in the sports world, and learn how the Iowa Speedway plays a leading role in NASCAR’s green future.

  • May 10 - Fast Physics: Teaching STEM on the Track
    Location: Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Parkway
    Presenters: Catherine Kummer, NASCAR Director of Green Innovation, and NASCAR driver Julia Landauer

    Between lightning-fast cars, roaring engines and booming cheers, the design and technology behind racing can fade into the excitement of a big finish. NASCAR is bringing children closer to the sport through physics and fun, inviting students to analyze the mechanics of racecars and design their own freaky-fast vehicles.

    Join us as we explore how NASCAR brings to life the science of speed, inspiring the next generation of engineers.

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