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:

  • September 13 - Café Scientifique: Making Music in the Classroom and Clinic
    Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
    Presenters: Patricia Izbicki, research assistant and PhD student in neuroscience at Iowa State University, and Andrew Zaman, research assistant and PhD student in kinesiology/psychology at Iowa State University

    Music infuses our everyday lives. From the music that plays during a trip to the grocery store to a poignant tune at graduation, music defines mundane and memorable events alike. Every time we hear music, our brains process it in a beautifully complex experience rooted in neuroscience. Those same processes can help the nervous system heal through music therapy.

    Join us as we explore how music supports neuroplasticity, the mechanism that allows the brain to change and adapt, and creates an innovative opportunity for healing and enhanced learning. Two innovative researchers will explore neuroscience, its applications and the impact of stressors through the lens of Parkinson's patients.

  • October 11 - Cafe Scientifique: Biology, Behavior & Brain Health
    Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
    Presenters: Emir Malovic, PhD student in biomedical sciences at Iowa State University, and Matthew A. Jefferson, M.S./PhD student in neuroscience at Iowa State University

    Brain health is rooted in biology and behavior, as everyday choices can cause damage to the nervous system, primarily through inflammation. These everyday stressors can jumpstart the deterioration of brain and nervous health, contributing to multiple neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s.

    Join us as we explore the power of simple behavioral changes in preventing neurological diseases and delve into the broader world of brain health.

  • November 8 - Nitrogen: Streams, Society & Statewide Impact
    Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
    Dr. Peter Levi, assistant professor of environmental science and policy, Drake University

    Like all 92 naturally occurring elements in the periodic table, nitrogen’s story weaves its way through history, from its natural roots to its role as a catalyst for technological advancements, as well as innovations in food production. But the same properties that make nitrogen a necessity for human life can make it detrimental, damaging aquatic ecosystems.

    Join us as we explore the delicate relationship between nitrogen’s necessity and the societal implications of excess nitrogen on ourselves and our landscapes.

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