Wednesday, November 29th: A bio-chemist walks into a bar…

Yeast is a wonder-microbe responsible for making bread and beer delicious, and it has helped scientists score Nobel prizes for years.  Join us a Professor Matt Bochman explains how this single-celled organism has yielded scientific breakthroughs for decades and how science and craft beverages have recently joined forces to tickle your taste buds.


We’ll be in the back room of Bears Place (1316 E 3rd St) at 6:30 pm. As always, Bloomington Science Cafe is free and open to anyone (over 21)!

September 27th: Open Scholarship — How Publishing Innovation is Changing Scientific Research

The ability to verify and replicate scientific discovery relies on meaningful access to research output, historically communicated via academic journals, trade publications, and books. The rising costs to access scientific research coupled with advances in data-driven methods have made traditional publishing models so unsustainable that 90% of scientists interviewed by Nature Publishing Group believe we are facing a reproducibility crisis. In a world of computational methods, artificial intelligence, 3D modeling, and a linked open web, pay-to-access scholarly journals are no longer adequately communicating or enabling access to scientific discovery. Alternative models aim to drive publishing towards more open, accessible, and impactful practices.

Open Access logo
Join us as Jamie WIttenberg, head of IU LIbraries Scholarly Communication Department asks: What does it mean to publish openly? What is the relationship between reproducibility and openness? How does open access change the way we do science?

August 30th: Smog, a radical perspective

The problem of photochemical air pollution continues to be a serious threat to human health and welfare in many areas of the world.  Ozone, the primary component of photochemical smog, can impair respiratory functions by causing inflammation and scarring of lung tissue.  Because it is a secondary pollutant, control of ozone depends on an accurate understanding of the chemical mechanism leading to its production.

Philip S. Stevens from IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Department of Chemistry will describe and discuss current field studies designed to improve our understanding of the chemistry of photochemical smog, including measurements in both urban and remote areas.


July 26: Tiny is Beautiful

 Science and Emerging Technologies of Nanocrystals

Nanoscience is an area of research that focuses on the study of materials that have very, very small dimensions. Nanoscience would be boring if those tiny objects behave just like big ones. Luckily they do not. In this talk, I will explain how the nanoworld provides scientists with a rich set of materials useful for studying the new properties of small-sized matter. Emphasis will be given to the sciences and applications of colloidal nanocrystals. Examples include nano-gold, nano-semiconductors and nano-X.

Xingchen Ye, assistant professor of chemistry, takes us through emerging areas of nano technology and explains his work on colloidal nanocrystals.

The STEM PhD Job Market

Join us as Dr. Steven Ouelette (CTO, Kinasense) explains the challenges facing STEM graduates, and discusses strategies to prepare for and navigate a wide variety of emerging careers in industry.

6:30pm, Wedneday, May 31, 2017 at Bears Place, the back room

STEM jobs

The STEM PhD Job Market: Landing a Career Requires Thinking Beyond Academia Early and Often The academic postdoctoral market has been described as a “crisis”, “bubble”, and “glut.” There are far more postdocs than the number of available careers that require academic postdoctoral training. This talk will give an overview of current data that shows why STEM PhD graduates should reconsider a postdoctoral appointment as the default career path. Strategies and resources for enhancing graduate training to promote career readiness will be discussed. Finally, a case study will be presented that demonstrates these strategies in action.​

The Art of Astronomy

Join us as Professors Liese van Zee and Caty Pilachowski take us through the basics of imaging science as applied in astronomy, and explain how knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum inform us about different environments in the universe. Taken together, these principles provide an ability to interpret astronomical images in order to learn about the universe and understand our physical world.

A painless operation- what can fruitflies teach us about pain pathways?

Research in the Tracey laboratory aims to understand the general principles that govern the specification and function of neuronal circuits. We study this problem using the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster whose relatively simplified nervous system must perform many of the same computations that are carried out by our own. Despite its simplified brain, Drosophila perform an array of complex behaviors. Powerful genetic tools of Drosophila enable the dissection of neural circuits with a precision that is not matched in any other model system. Genetically encoded calcium sensors allow us to measure the neuronal activity of identified neurons while neuronal silencers and activators allow us to determine the behavioral consequences of the same activity. We are using the fly model to identify circuits and genes that function in nociception which is the sensory input involved in pain signaling. In addition, we are attempting to identify the molecules that are used in neurosensory mechanotransduction which underlies our sense of touch.


Dan Tracey PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Biology, IUB