Previous Science Café

Science Cafe 2014-2018

Winter/Spring 2018

Golden Jubilee at JIC!

Thursday 5th January 2018
The John Innes Centre [JIC] in Norwich is indeed pure gold. Since 2013, JIC's wheat research alone makes an annual contribution of over £8 billion to the global economy. 50 years of Plant Science at JIC will be discussed in historical, social and current context with particular reference to its vital role in legume crop research. Please join us in celebrating JIC's Jubilee!

The Structure of DNA

Thursday 22nd Febraury 2018
We hear about DNA in the media regularly, but do we really understand what it is? In this session we will get an insider’s in- depth view of the structure of DNA and cutting edge research to unlock some of its mysteries. Find out more about the double helix of life.

S.O.S Signals from Ocean to Earth

Thursday 29th March 2018
Biomarkers, or signals from sentinel creatures such as mussels and earthworms can provide valuable early warning about enviromental changes to our planet. These could have serious consequences for the lives of plants, animals and humans. Learn about these signals before it's too late.

Winter 2017

Sound & Vision

Thursday 28th September
There are approximately 39 million blind people worldwide, but over 31 million of them need not be. Cataracts are a major global cause of sight loss. Hear how local research is leading to better prevention and cure, both here and abroad.

Life on Mars?

Thursday 26th October 2017
Can Mars offer humans a new habitat? What do we really know about the planet and what challenges would life on Mars present? Join us beyond this final frontier!


Spring 2017

Dark Energy and Dark Matter

Thursday 26 January 2017
Our ideas about the Cosmos have changed radically over time. Indeed our idea of time itself has been altered. What does that mean for planet Earth? An exciting journey into the final frontier… The Universe.

Sex, Art & Genes


Thursday 23 February 2017
A contemporary look at Darwinian research into the world of plant genetics. Despite all of our modern techniques and equipment, his ground breaking work still has massive impact in the present time. An entertaining and informative session.

Thinking Fast & Slow


Thursday 30 March 2017
How do we make decisions? Especially about really important things, like our health? What do we consider, take account of, or gamble on? Or do we not make them at all, but have our decisions made for us? We got together to consider, slowly, the impact of fast thinking on all of our lives.

Autumn 2016

Stem Cell Research


Thursday 29 September 2016
Prof Chris Higgins, formerly Director of MRC clinical studies and Head of division of Medicine at Imperial and Vice Chancellor of Durham, discussed Stem Cell Research, how it works, and it’s ethical dimensions. Given their unique regenerative abilities,  stem cells offer new potential for treating diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. However, much work remains to be done in the laboratory and the clinic to understand how to use these cells for cell based therapies to treat disease.

Versatile & Beneficial  Microbes


Thursday 27 October
Heleen Goorissen, R&D Director of Biotechnology Corbion Netherlands,  talked about microbes. We often worry about the harmful effects of bacteria and other microbes, however we probably would not survive for very long without them. Dr Goorissen  explored with us the varied and many ways they benefit us and enhance our lives.

Science and Religion


Tuesday 24 November
Prof Peter Belton, Chemistry department, UEA, discussed this fascinating and sometimes heated combination.
Can a scientist believe in a god? Reason, empiricism and evidence versus revelation, faith and sacredness.

Spring/Summer 2016


26 January 2016 - Cereal Thriller - Wheat will happen next?

What is happening to the nutritional value and yields of crops such as wheat and barley? How is climate change affecting local production? Are there any cereal killers out there?


23 February 2016 - Gene Sequencing and Human Health

How can understanding more about the human genome help prevent disease and save money? How do we find out more, what are the implications? We delved into the issues of cracking the code of life.


31 March 2016 - A Celebration of Pulses

On Thursday 31 March, The Cut Science Cafe celebrated 2016 International Year of Pulses with stimulating talks and a delicious pulse based menu available from The Cut Cafe.
We were delighted to have three leading speakers on the world of pulses - Dr Claire Domoney and Mr Mike Ambrose of the John Innes Centre, Norwich and Mr Josiah Meldrum Co- founder of local firm, Hodmedods.
Pulses are good for us. High in protein, dietary fibre, they lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and help with body weight management. They are a key part of the solution to some pressing global problems: greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, global nutritional insecurity and the rise of diet related diseases.


29 January 2015
Energy Provision & Climate Change

26 February 2015
The Science of Ageing or Not

31 March 2015
Infection, Antibiotics & Alternatives.

26 May 2015
Artificial Intelligence: Do machines help us?

30 June 2015
Do genes prescribe our lives?

28 July 2015
Social Media & Personal Interaction

1 August 2015 DAY EVENT Sat 10-4pm
UNESCO Year of Soil & Light. Special Science day, with demos, trials, activities, food sampling, lectures & film. 8 different organisations involved and Art Science collaboration.

29 September 2015
Don’t trust me, I am a Scientist

27 October 2015
The Balance between Biodiversity & Farm Productivity

24 November 2015
Syndromic Surveillance: Public Health & Private data


‘Food for thought.’
Sat 11am-3pm
Explaining the reason we wanted to have science events at the Cut and included experiments demonstrations, displays as well as lectures.

18 September 2014
Food provision & security

28 October 2014
Formal launch: The history & development of Café Scientifique.

27 November 2014
Cancer, Care & Cure