Cafe Scientific, Southampton, UK

 Cafe Scientific,  Southampton

Latest update of this file 18 October, 2014 (there is a problem with the version of this page on Freeserve/fsnet, outside my control, sometimes you will get a version of the page from 6 March 2014, sometimes a CTRL-F5 will release the latest version, sometimes not, USA mirror site on site is operating normally)

10 November 2014, Rev Stewart Timbrell: Herbs & the History of Medicine

venue: Southwestern Arms (upstairs room) , 36 Adelaide Rd, St Denys, Southampton, SO17 2HW
Time: 19:00 for talk 19:30 to 21:00. Plenty of time for questions and answers .
Entry by a purchase at the bar or by donation in the tin, for the venue facilities.

future talks
08 December 2014, Zoe Slade, STAG, Southampton Uni: Asymptotic Safety in Quantum Gravity. A road to finding a well-behaved quantum theory of the gravitational force.
Early 2015 talk subjects : liquid crystal displays, trees now and in the future
12 Jan 2015, 09 Feb 2015, 09 Feb 2015
Monthly talks on a science subject
Future talks, usually the second Monday of the month.

To Be Confirmed (TBC) list, for future talks, in no particular order
Preliminary arrangements for speakers on the following topics: ecology of the New Forest, ocean currents, space debris, radio propogation, catalysis, engineering aspects of industrial archaeology machinery, cubesat micro-cube satellites, transport management, agricultural science and food sustainability, gamma ray galactic sources , oceanography, earthquakes, laboratory on a chip, marine structural engineering, trees in the present and the future.

Other talks in the next few weeks
Winchester alternating sciences/humanities talks
Discovery Lecture: Flooding in Coastal Cities Winchester Discovery Centre 7:45pm Monday 27 Oct 2014 Robert Nicholls, Professor of Coastal Engineering at the University of Southampton discusses his research on the issues facing our coasts and their adaptation to climate change, with an emphasis on sea-level rise. Hear about how this research is developing a tool to forecast what the UK's coastline will look like in the future.
For arty types. Inaugural meeting of the Southampton Chamber of Arts, no website . SouthWestern Arms, 19 Oct 2014, 2pm. Across the arts spectrum, a local hands-on arts hub.

Some details on recent SWA science cafe talks , including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of mid 2014, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2014, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of late 2013, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of mid 2013, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2013, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of end 2012, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of mid 2012, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2012, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of later 2011, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on SWA science cafe talks of early 2011, including transcripts of talks and Q&A
Some details on past SWA science cafe talks in 2010 , including transcripts of talks and Q&A

Short form for this webpage is from by entering URL where ???? is scicaf or scicaf1, or Google keyword scicafsoton should get there.
Email me if you could give a talk or wish to be included on the email circulation list, or links to one-off local public scientific talks, local open days, academic post climate-gate "outreach" , public engagement etc. Email addresses only, names not necessary. That list only to be used for circulating a week before and day before of any meeting, and no other purpose . Could a regular attendee commit to doing write-ups/reviews ? Southampton Cafe Scientifique most recent update will appear on the 4mg hosting site. Unfortunately excessive ads etc on that 4mg Freeservers freesite and due to too many people accessing the site and so exceeding 1GByte bandwidth allowance per month, it may disappear for a while, returning about midday UK time on the 25th of the month. Some hosts are not alowing remote linking now , so to view a "forbidden" picture you have to right click on the mouse and select "view".
Southampton Cafe Scientific routinely updated only twice monthly , but without ads .
A simple colour poster for anyone willing to print-off , minus updated text overlay , for these talks available here.
Southampton Science Cafe Poster
I'm aware that part of the concept of a Southampton Sci Caf was that it had to be off university campus, as deemed to deter ordinary mortals. The original Soton Science Caf Soton Sci Caf , (now ceased , held at Harbour Lights, then Borders Bookshop, then the Soul Cellar) . For the pub, the best night, quietest otherwise, is Mondays. Normally the second Monday of the month. I know it will clash perhaps once a year with a bank holiday but make it another Monday in those situations. Accompanied children are ok up to 9pm , after that I'm not sure. There is a wifi hotspot in the pub these days, password from the management.
South Western Arms
36 Adelaide Rd, St Denys, Southampton, Hampshire and for satnavs , the postcode SO17 2HW

 SouthWestern Arms
SouthWestern Arms , voted the best local in the Southampton region
A roll down projector screen is near those green pool table luminaires. 16 seats obscured by the balustrade in line with the pool table, and tables and seats along the right, before the sofas. Seats about 40 people , without sitting on tables or grabbing seats from downstairs. It is about the same size as the Soul Cellar floor area but without so much noise intrusion, from large musak speakers anyway, some patrons downstairs can get a bit noisey at times. One great advantage of pubs as sci-caf venues is that they are otherwise open so not usually any venue constraints on guilloting the Q&A , if the speaker runs over or other problems and the time limit of the room hire is reached
7 real ales on at any one time and organised like an on-going beer festival with 6 of the 7 changing almost daily, certainly weekly. Chosen from a pool of 30 each month. Tea and coffee available also .

There is a carpark attached to the pub , otherwise a generally yellow-line-free residential area. It is probably advisable not to use the railway carpark on the Osborne Rd, Portswood side of the railway station (very secluded) . The pub is immediately next door to the St Denys rather than Portswood side of St Denys Railway Station, the pub garden back wall is part of the station . Up to 13 Dec, 2014 , the times of effective last trains/incoming suitable trains from/to St Denys Railway Station on a weekday , in the 4 main directions : -
Bournemouth 10.40 pm (outgoing from Bournemouth 18.59 for 19.28 change at Southampton Central for St Denys at 19.40)
Romsey 10.40 pm (outgoing from Romsey 19.07 for 19.30 at St Denys )
Portsmouth, 10.49 pm (suitable outgoing from Portsmouth central 18.38 for 19.31 St Denys)
Winchester ,10.40 pm (suitable outgoing from Winchester 19.05 for 19.26 at St Denys)

I have read Guide to running a Sci Caf and I endorse all the info there. I would say that maybe the questions and answers are more important than the talk, allowing non technical people or scientists out of their field to ask questions . Often the Q&A are longer duration than the talk. And unlike the academic environment there is not the peer pressure making people reluctant to ask questions that they feel may be perceived as being stupid by their peers, and normally no rigid time constraint. Unlike cafes and public halls which are usually available or hired for a specific time slot, pubs would still be open after any talk and discussion can contiue if there is the interest.
July 2010 was the first scicaf at the SWA and 05 July 2010 the national organiser of the Cafe Scientifique movement added this link from the Sci Caf national site to this site.
I've been to the Salisbury Sci Caf and talked to one of their organisers. On that night I counted 120 people , a low turnout, as it transpired. A large arts centre converted church, requiring a wireless mike to ask questions and full public address for the speakers. From her , one paramount requirement , is an email circulation list. Summer 2010 Salisbury Sci Caf has been priced out of hiring the arts centre any more, quintupling of the fees. The fee for the Salisbury Rugby Club hall, Hudson's Field, Castle St , Salisbury, is 100 GBP (as would not be open otherwise, unlike pubs or cafes)
Salisbury Sci Caf , tuesdays
Pompey Sci Caf , tuesdays
Isle of Wight Sci Caf , mondays
Winchester Sci Caf, mondays
Bournemouth Sci Caf, tuesdays
There is no room charge for booking the upstairs room of the SWA on the not unreasonable assumption that people would buy some beer or light refreshments. If it transfered to St Denys Community Centre, say, then the hire fee ( in 2009) for 2 hours for a non-profit concern would be 15.00 GBP.
 Science Cafe talk
Input to my video projector , 15 pin Computer SVGA is the usual cross-link, as long as this type of connector on the laptop SVGA socket , no USB port. An Apple laptop would need an adaptor to SVGA for an external monitor feed, at least two types of these with different plugs, let alone anything else. If no 15 pin VGA external monitor output, then I do have a USB to VGA adaptor but requires a driver put on the laptop and may have problems showing videos. Important note if using my laptop then your powerpoint must be a .ppt file, not .pptx. I prefer the speaker to use their own laptop providing there is 15 pin SVGA socket on the back. Then you know any video will play and sometimes a query emerges that there is precise info/graphs etc elsewhere on their pc. A tip for other organisers using projectors and limited area of placement. Usually there is a rear projection option in the menu settings, use a mirror to reflect the image back over the projector, unfortunately needs to be at least A4 size to clear the top of the projector. Mount on a gooseneck for playing around with angles and a couple of large adjustment screws either side to anchor down a bit better. On laptop to projector hook-up if one side of the image is missing but projection of the laptop desktop is full width, select "mirroring" in the Powerpoint settings/options area. Basic laser pointer available or low tech telescopic aerial pointer. Access to overhead projector and Kodak Ektapro 3000 , carousel slide projector , and a small public address amplifier , if required. Possibility of video camera to projector setup for epidiascope fashion or USB macro/microscopic projection. It would be possible for a DVD based slideshow/ presentation to be outputed to the video projector via a small DVD player, in theory. I particularly would like to find a speaker on crop science genetics/biology/ chemistry. If a speaker has just pics and a small amount of text and can put them on a thumbstick and/or CDrom and arrange to turn up a 1/2 hour early I could make into an on-the-fly powerpoint file. A lot of science cafes cease during academic vacations. I intend carrying these Southampton ones throughout the year. I would be interested to hear from anyone attending conferences/visiting in south Hamphire who could arm themself with a thumbstick or a few notes. Likewise any undergraduates or specialist technicians who could give a talk of some sort.
Some other possible speaker topics: -
cochlea implants, textiles conservation, engineering aspects of high performance internal combustion engines (interested but only if/when its got going), 3D graphics and simulators or Stirling Engines (confirmed interested) , optoelectronics, exploring a chance of one in 844 septillion, ship handling and accurate positioning in all sea conditions (confirmed interested) , science and practice of dating ceramics/pottery/bricks for archaeological purposes (confirmed interested), and techniques of campanology . .
Some other SciCaf related sites , recommended panel of speakers (password required, cursor hovering over "details" column then ident number greater than 27 is year 2010 entries and later ascending chronologically). Also the Yahoo group for organisers
Scheduling also requires checking for clashes against televised major sporting events etc via calendars such as , . Another consideration I came across with someone else's talks organisation or not, as a speaker failed to turn up. If a speaker is organised as much as a year before, firstly to agree dates etc and have 2-way confirmation and acknowlegement of the main matters. Then probably sensible to make some sort of comunication a week or 2 before the arranged date, to swap phone numbers/ clarify talk details/technical requirements in case of problems of computer synchronisation or failures to update paper diaries, to act as a reminder.

Some comments I've received so far
from JE
Mention , in links, "skeptics in the pub" (in list below). If a local offshoot developed , he would not have to go to London. Also consider the concept of webcasting . From my limited experience Q&A would not work as well as in a live environment and there may be copyright or even defamation pitfalls.
From IH
Consider contacting IBM, Hursely for inclusion in their internal bulletin. If he gets some more info , I may well do so.
From JG
It is good to hear that you are thinking of starting up another Café Sci. However, if I were you I would avoid posing it as an alternative to the existing one or a contingency plan "should the original one fail". I'm sure Southampton is big enough to have two or more cafes runnning simultaneously; there are already multiple cafes in Leeds and Bristol, and probably other places too - since Café Sci needs to be small to work, the only way of responding to an increased demand is to open a second one - holding one café in a room big enough for 200 people would just destroy the atmosphere. We at Brighton are constantly full to overflowing, and are looking to find a slightly bigger venue, but the ideal solution would be for someone (not me!) to start a second one. So I wish you luck. I have been to a few of the Southampton Cafes and have found it a little frustrating that the oganisation seems so intermittent. I always book our speakers up many months in advance - in fact to get the best ones, you have to - and find it hard to understand how a café can function on such a "last-minute" basis. I also think a pub function room would be better than the Soul Cellar - on one occasion when I was there the speaker had to give up because of the excessive noise coming from the sound system downstairs, even though there were hardly any customers in the bar, but about 30 of us upstairs! Whay don't you try and contact the existing organiser and try and work with him/her? (I forget who it is currently). I am sure he/she will welcome a new venture like yours and it will stop any "bad blood" situation from developing. Anyway, good luck again. Keep me on the list - I do not get over there much but will try.
Reply - I'd only seen one sci cafe represented, per town /city, on the national sci caf site , and only looked in detail at the local group and not realised that some were subdivided, so more than one in a town. As for the Soul Cellar I found the noisey patrons hanging around in the foyer more intrusive. I note your use of the word speaker and perhaps I will start using it instead of lecturer as it may be off-putting. Is there a suitable low-key word for lecture, as well ?
From GO
He uses the term "lead-off" for this concept of short introductory talk before a longer discussion on that topic. So perhaps the term lead-off talk is preferable to the word lecture.
From CS
I wish you every success in setting up Southampton Science Cafe ( Shadow ) We may add you meetings to HASSNERS Meetup: when you get up and running.
From NB
I would be keen to be involved and would be willing to talk. I am currently a lecturer in Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton University but am conceited enough to want to talk on subjects on which I am not an expert.
From JB
I really appreciate the work that you're doing to set up science cafe II. I get the feeling that the organisers are running out of steam ... If you ever need a hand with any event I'd be only to happy to oblige. It would be nice to have the talks in quieter place, like The South Western Arms, which is a good choice. That soul Cellar is too noisy at 8pm. I did suggest to the organisers that the Central Art Gallery has a lecture Theatre nearby or even the fountain cafe, well At least it doesn't have massive bass bins next door. I actually was looking for information about historical flooding in Southampton and saw you had done a lot of work on flooding in St Denys ...
From JE
Your talk on leaded vs lead-free solder was interesting and I think the SW Arms is a good venue for a small audience
From SR
I enjoyed the talk by Ian Bryant and would like to go on your mailing list please.
From a Soton Sci Caf speaker
A magnificent job in typing the transcript. Fascinating/terrifying to hear how I ramble on. I'm sure my teaching has improved from giving the talk. Thanks for having me.
From TB
I very much enjoyed Dr Deborah Mackay's talk on epigenetics last month. If possible could you send me the URL on the comparitive sizes of viruses, molecules etc. she showed in her presentation?

Best comment so far, overheard from 3 bods in front of one of my posters
One bod , (before I started adding a QR), taking a cell-phone pic of the poster and another one saying to the others. "Well I may as well come along to it (the scicaf talk) as it must be better than staying at home and watching Coronation Street ".
From GM
I went to the talk last evening at the Southwestern Arms ... (Dr David Hooper, atmospheric refraction) ... I thoroughly enjoyed the talk myself
From RW
What an interesting speaker (Phil Bartlett, nano-scale structured metal surfaces and SERS) and such a fascinating topic, he seemed to relish the barrage of questions. I see you have an intriguing set of topics coming up in the future, and a convivial environment for such talks .
From MB
Fantastic choice of subjects Thanks
From JB
... the chance to ask embarrassing questions and drink seems attractive...

from JN
Enormous respect for what you continue to do with SciCaf, but would you mind taking me off the mailing list when you get a minute please? I've recently left Southampton for Turkey.

Links for similar events

Winchester alternating sciences/humanities talks Discovery lectures series, last monday of the month. If they cannot be bothered setting up a fixed URL for this series, I can't be bothered updating this cross-reference
Skeptics in the Pub
Green Drinks - environmental informal sessions in a bar
Philosophy in Pubs (nearest Havant)
Philosophy Cafes , Soton uni
HASSNERS are Humanist - Atheist - Scientific - Secularist - Naturalistic - Ethical - Rationalist - Sceptics In Bournemouth, Southampton and London
Humanist talks
Monthly archaeology talks - Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum
National listing of lectures open to the public
Aggregator: Regular science oriented events posted by Southampton Discovery
Portsmouth MathsJam is for like-minded self-confessed maths enthusiasts
MathsJam / Southampton ( tentative) contact Maureen ,landlady of the Bent Brief pub, Lodge Road / and Adrian looking into that possibility
Institute of Physics talks, central south region
Institution of Civil Engineers talks
Hampshire Industrial Archaeology talks
Probus, talks tending to be on an industrial/commercial theme, Botley
"green" technical talks , at The Art House, Southampton , no known specific fixed link
Romsey, Second Fridays, science+business crossover-networking
Southampton Tech group - playing with and talking about technology etc
Southampton , So Make It, hackerspace : Learning and doing hands-on stuff using their 3D printer etc
Botley Retro Computer Club, group of computer enthusiasts who like vintage computers
Presentations of 20 images x 20 seconds. so far based in London, Chelmsford, Guildford, Southend-on-Sea, Brighton, Chichester, Oxford , Coventry
Talks about the New Forest , Lyndhurst
Subset of whats-on nationally, searchable by postcode
Activities for youngsters in Southampton
Soton Uni open lectures

The Echo used to carry a weekly listing of open days coming up. Fascinating to visit Fawley power station , Philips electronics facility at Millbrook, Marchwood military port etc. Does anyone know if there is still a listing in the local paper ?
Some not exactly public lecture series, I've never been refused entry as a non-member, but organisers and criteria change etc
Electronics lectures
Royal TV Society
Geology talks, Wyvern Technology College,Fair Oak, Eastleigh
Royal Aeronautical Society Solent Branch lectures
Soton Astronomy
Amateur radio clubs have regular talks
Chandlers Ford radio club
Hythe radio club
Local History talks etc
Local history talks etc
National Heritage Weekend ,thursday 11 to sunday14 September 2014

Some other links to fairly local centres with scientific or technical aspects
Time Machine Fun Centre
Museum of English Rural Life
Southampton Music Hub
Rural Life Centre, Farnham, Surrey
The Ancient Technology Centre, Wimbourne
REME Museum of Technology, Arborfield , Reading
The Engineerium , Hove, Sussex sometimes open days until reopening proper
Science Museum at Wroughton
South Downs Planetarium
Electrical Museum ,Old Power Station at Christchurch
Toothill astronomical observatory
Whitchurch Silk Mill, Whitchurch, Hampshire
Lee-on-Solent Hovercraft Museum
Winchester INTECH Science Centre and Planetarium
Bletchley Park Museum complex, a day is not long enough to explore it all
Amberley Industrial history / historic buildings / working exhibits
National science weeks etc
National Science Week
National Pathology Week
biennial British Neuroscience Association , Festival of Neuroscience with public lectures and events

Short form Tiny URL for this page is , this page was on until that hosting company shut up shop.
Contact name: Nigel Cook
Number of valid email addresses in the circulation list as of the above edition date : 240

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keyword for searchengines , scicafshadow, scicafsoton, Southampton Science Café, Café Scientifique, scicaf, scicaf1, scicaf2 , free talks, open talks, free lectures, open lectures , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Other science theme talks etc in the next few weeks