Science has always been portrayed as molecules, beakers, lab coats and math symbols. We often don’t think about how people actually interact with scientific information, and where the ‘science’ goes after it’s done in the lab or field. Today, most research is funded by public money, so it is fair to expect that the work will eventually benefit society and people. Sadly, this is not always the case, and the reasons why are not always clear. Today, the scientific landscape is much more complex. A century ago, scientists were perceived to conduct research in an ivory tower, whereas now, people want to be informed, involved, and have a say in scientific activities and how it is used.  Some say that ‘science has a new social contract with society’.

During this online Science Café Vivian Nguyen, Assistant Professor in the Institute of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Science and the Department of Biology, discussed the role and importance of social sciences in STEM and why the science of studying people matters.

Explore science through Carleton University’s popular Science Cafés, now being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope to resume our in-person Science Cafés in the future, generally held twice a month during the fall and winter terms at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. For now, you are invited to join us online throughout the summer for a lively discussion around a scientific issue of the day. Be prepared to be informed, engaged and even amused, as our professors share their scientific discoveries with you. All are welcome to join us via Zoom Webinar.

Visit the Science Café website for more information on upcoming online Science Cafés and to sign up for our newsletter, or contact the Faculty of Science by email at and by telephone at 613-520-4388.

Sunday, September 20, 2020 in ,
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