Second Science Café focuses on future fuels

January 28, 2013 By Janet Kelly

The new Science Café series being held in the Town Center at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building devotes its second installment to the future of fuels.

Photo: Jean Feraca


Former WPR host Jean Feraca engages in a conversation with UW–Madison biofuels expert Tim Donohue on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Steenbock’s on Orchard dining room.

Feraca will explore questions such as “Will our cars run on cornstalks, wood chips and grass?” with Donohue, director of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and a bacteriology professor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Due to being held in an intimate restaurant venue, the event offers limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees can settle in and order a cup of coffee, snack or even dinner from Steenbock’s during the conversation. Guests aged 21 years and up also can enjoy a glass of wine or beer. Science Café at Discovery is free and open to the public, with the exception of food or beverage purchases. 

Photo: Tim Donohue


Science Cafés are live grassroots events held in casual settings like coffeehouses and pubs that are open to everyone, organized locally and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist on a particular topic. Science cafés have been held in communities across the globe for years.

Among the hundreds of programs presented at last year’s Wisconsin Science Festival, the Science Café at Discovery debuted with a lively discussion on climate change moderated by WGBH’s NOVA and featuring UW–Madison meteorology experts Steve Ackerman and Jon Martin. 

“Now we are introducing Science Café as a regular series at the Discovery building for people on campus, as well as the general public,” states Laura Heisler, WARF director of programming.  “Our goal is to make it a relaxing, intimate and interesting forum to discuss compelling science-related topics with UW–Madison researchers.”

A list of upcoming events and programs at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery is available here.