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Science anyone can understand: Biweekly science cafés open discussion of important scientific issues
Nathan Blaha
Antelope Staff

Do you want to talk about serious, tough topics over some pizza and a coke or maybe a glass of beer?

The acceptance of torture in society, solar energy, H1N1 and stem cell research are just a few of the topics discussed during Sigma Xi science cafés.

Sigma Xi, a national science society, hosts science cafés every other Monday at 5 p.m. on the second floor of Thunderhead Brewery to provide available science to the public so a regular person off the street can understand it.

“We provide people a comfortable setting to take in available information and give people the chance to realize that scientists are regular human beings,” said Bill Wozniak, a professor of psychology and member of Sigma Xi at UNK.

“Sigma Xi is composed of 30 to 40 chemists, psychologists, biologists, and physicists from all over the UNK campus, with many students active at the science cafés,” Wozniak said.

Faculty members usually nominate students who show promise as researchers in their field to become associate members of Sigma Xi, although anyone is welcome at the science cafés.

Past topics at the science cafés have included talking about the H1N1 virus with Brad Ericson from the biology department, solar energy with Dr. Scott Darveau from the chemistry department and the acceptance of torture in society with Dr. Richard Miller from the psychology department.  

Wozniak said the topic of the next science café Sept. 28 will be science education led by Darveau and Miller.

Oct. 26 Dr. David Krause from the Omaha Med Center will lead the café about stem cell research.  “This discussion will take place right after the Nebraska board of regents meets about stem cell research, a meeting that Dr. Krause will be attending,” Wozniak said.

For more information on Sigma Xi national science society, visit


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