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:

    • December 8 - Jerusalem: The Making of a Sacred City
      Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
      Jodi Magness, Vice President, Archeological Institute of America

      It’s rocky, rough — and revered. Situated on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and Dead seas, Jerusalem is an unlikely choice for the world’s holiest city. Destroyed multiple times during its storied history, the ancient city has faced innumerable challenges and conflicts beyond its rugged location alone.Yet, it has transformed from a remote, relatively poor town to become the cultural and religious center for the three Abrahamic faiths. Today the city is a hub for religious pilgrims, scientists and historians alike, as people from around the world flock to Jerusalem for its rich religious and archeological roots.

      Explore the evolution of Jerusalem from a humble mountain town to a divine destination with Jodi Magness, vice president of the Archeological Institute of America. Join us after the presentation for a free screening of JERUSALEMin the Blank IMAX Dome Theater.

    • January 12 - Everyday Racism: The Discourse of Difference
      Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
      Presenter: Glennda Bivens, Community and Economic Development Field Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
      Race and racism infiltrate myriad elements of everyday life, as humans are taught to categorize differences while ignoring power dynamics in everyday encounters. Race and racism are so deeply embedded in American culture that it can be difficult for many people to name and identify racist behaviors. Seemingly minute, some routine actions perpetuate the endemic of racism — and we may not even be aware of it.

      Join us as we explore how racism materializes in everyday encounters through microaggressions, micro assaults and commonly used language.
    • 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

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