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WHERE should it take place?

Choose a venue with a welcoming entrance, appropriate to the topic, and suitable to the target group you want to address. Scientists, experts, and the public should be able to move and talk freely.

Experience has shown that coffee shops, bookstores, bars, botanic gardens, museums, zoos, community centres or even outdoor public spaces and natural habitats provide perfect conditions to run science cafés. Exceptional venues and places, which are not always accessible, contribute to the fact that the science café is something special.

To establish a tradition with people meeting at a particular place such as a visitor center, pub or café it is recommended to stick to a given weekday, time, and week intervals in which the science café takes place.

The venue (design of the room, media equipment, etc.) will inform how to design the setting. It will have an influence on whether small group discussions or lecture formats with larger groups are more appropriate. According to these characteristics, you will position your invited experts in the front, in the middle of a circle or at any other place. Thus, the course is set for how the interaction between participants can and will take place.

The activities and topics you choose to engage participants (WHAT) need to be selected and facilitated keeping the characteristics of the venue in mind (e.g. you may not be able to bring along your own food and drinks if you run your science café in a bar or restaurant).

A few examples for places to go:

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh wanted to use their science cafés to reach individuals in small local socially deprived communities. They decided to run one of their events titled 'Thought for Food' in the small town of Loanhead to the south of Edinburgh and selected a venue that would act as a familiar and comfortable setting for the target audience. Loanhead developed from coal mining in the area. The closure of the mines in the 1980s resulted in job losses and deprivation. Using a newly developed local library and community centre as an appropriate setting for a science café we ran an event as part of the Midlothian Science Festival programme.
On the 20th October 2017, a science café titled 'Good eating' was organized at an open kitchen venue (suitable for cooking and eating) at the local market place by the University of Innsbruck. This location in a building in the center of the city was chosen as it is where local merchants sell their local and global products on a daily basis. A number of local farmers are also present here each Friday selling their locally produced goods. This was a suitable location for the event as it is a place visited by both locals and tourists, and allowed for close contact with important stakeholders to be established.


uni-war-venues.jpgBazar Szembeka, one of the oldest and most well known of Warsaw’s open-air food markets; science café University of Warsaw Botanic Garden, Poland   

uganda-venue.jpgOutdoor science café, Tooro Botanic Gardens, Uganda   

bgbm-5.jpgScience café outdoors on the Kulturforum (large square between different museums), where a food market took place as part of the Food Revolution exhibition, Freie Universtität Berlin, Germany   


bgbm-6.jpgMuseumsdorf Düppel, the workshop took place in the the open-air area; the discussion in the museum café, where the guests could get food and drinks; Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum, Freie Universität Berlin   

oslo-venue.jpgA science café for kids in the Biblo, a nearby library specialized for children, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway   

univietalk-expert-sc-food-safety.jpgScience café held in a pub as an event in the evening, Botanical Garden of the University Vienna, Austria   


Hannover A science café for pupils and adults about food cultures took place in the VHS Hannover (adult education centre)   


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 This project has received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 710780.

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