Published in Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Volume 63, Fall October 1, 2010. Copyright 2010, Jeanine Marie Scaramozzino and Catherine Trujillo. Used with permission.
The Science Café is a national movement that attempts to foster community dialog and inquiry on scientific topics in informal venues such as coffee houses, bookstores, restaurants and bars. The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Robert E. Kennedy Library staff have taken the Science Café model out of bars and cafes and into the university's library. They have created an outreach opportunity as the campus community comes together to share and discuss faculty research, student work, and outside speakers' knowledge. The Science Café programs encourage open, easy-to-understand conversation exploring scientific and interdisciplinary topics in an attempt to build connections among disciplines. Cal Poly's Science Café is unique as it is one of the first to be held in an academic setting and the only Science Café within 200 miles of the campus. The program's development is described below.
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