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:

  • July 11 - Cafe Scientifique - Eye Exam: Exploring Degeneration
    Location: Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
    Presenters: Bhavika Patel and Lauren Laboissonniere, Ph.D. candidates in neuroscience at Iowa State University

    When you look at something, it’s your retinas that set off a chain reaction that transforms light and color into meaningful pictures. It’s a complicated exchange between our senses, the nervous system and the brain. But what happens when these pathways break down? The degeneration of specific clusters of retinal cells can lead to progressive diseases like glaucoma, distorting images and disrupting life.

    Join us as we explore how one of our fundamental senses, vision, is processed, and how the retina acts as a key point in the lightning-fast transfer of images we’ll remember forever.

  • August 8 - Café Scientifique: Solar Eclipse 101
    Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
    Presenter: Dr. Ethan Siegel, theoretical physicist and founder of "Starts with a Bang" column

    On August 21, 2017, it will be the first time since 1918 that a total solar eclipse has crossed the continental U.S. from coast to coast, and this month’s Café Scientifique is all about this historic event. We’ll explore the significance of the last “Great American Eclipse” of 1918, and discover how we can use the eclipse to test general relativity and more.

    Whether you’re traveling to the path of totality or catching it from your own backyard, join SCI and Dr. Ethan Siegel as we explore the science of a solar eclipse, and learn how to make the most of the main event on Monday, August 21.

    This talk will be held in SCI's Star Theater planetarium, and we will hear from Dr. Siegel via Skype.

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