Independent Minds, Working Together

Wooster Science Cafe Kicks Off Sept. 26 at First Amendment Public House

Series promises lively conversation and insights on current science topics

September 16, 2013 by John Hopkins

WOOSTER, Ohio, Sept. 16, 2013 – From the threat of global pandemics to the life-saving promise of the human genome project, Wooster’s first-ever Science Café will offer insights and lively conversation with scientists from The College of Wooster and The Ohio State University — all in plain English — at the First Amendment Public House, 150 W. Liberty St., in Wooster.

Each presenter will provide a brief introduction to the evening’s topic and then facilitate a discussion.

Dr. Lonnie King, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU, will kick off the series on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m., with a look at “The Perfect Microbial Storm: Our Unprecedented Global Challenge.” Dr. King will explore the ways in which an increasingly interconnected world creates new and potentially deadly dynamics among people, animals, and microbes.

Marne Titchenell, wildlife program specialist at The Ohio State University Extension, will address “White Nose Syndrome: A Deadly Disease of Bats,” on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. In just six winters, this disease has spread to 22 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces, causing mortality rates of 90 to 100 percent among cave-hibernating bats. Titchenell will discuss what is known about WNS, the economic and ecological benefits of the bat populations being decimated by it, and how landowners can help Ohio bats.

Dr. William Morgan, professor of biology at The College of Wooster, will wrap up the series on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m., with “The Human Genome Gets Personal.” The human genome is like an immense cookbook, filled with all the recipes needed to make a human being, but each individual’s personal copy of that cookbook is different. As science’s ability to read each individual copy becomes more sophisticated, it holds the promise of providing insights into a host of personal health issues, from the prospects of developing a particular disease to likely responses to therapeutic drugs.

Science cafes are grassroots events that have sprung up all over the world, bringing together scientists and non-scientists in casual settings for lively, engaging conversation on scientific topics of interest. Wooster’s inaugural science café is co-sponsored by The College of Wooster and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center of The Ohio State University.