Science Café: An Intellectual Commons for Cal Poly

Along with the summer 2008 transformation of the Kennedy Library's second floor spaces for study and collaboration, Dean Michael Miller envisioned an emerging role for the Library as an intellectual commons for the campus. "Our goal was to develop an innovative program to foster university-wide learning objectives: critical and creative thinking, communication, learn by doing, and appreciation of each discipline in relation to the larger world of arts, technology, and sciences," said Miller.

To help reach this goal, the Cal Poly Science Café program was created. The Science Café at Cal Poly is modeled on the international science café (Café Scientifique) movement, which fosters community dialog and inquiry on scientific topics through an interactive speaker series in informal venues such as coffee houses and bookstores.

Cal Poly's Science Café program launched last January with "Improbable Vehicles," featuring short talks by students, staff, and faculty about alternative and experimental vehicles ranging from a human powered vehicle to the Cal Poly Rose Float. The program continued through May with four additional events, averaging over 70 attendees each. The Café has a Facebook presence, a blog, a logo, a listserv, and a following. It is also the first and only Science Café on California's Central Coast.

From Kennedy Library's 2009-2010 Annual Publication (11MB PDF).

» Visit the Science Café web site to learn about past and future events.